Hope: Simple Does Not Mean Easy…
Especially in the midst of the time we are all living through, hope is not necessarily what comes to mind. Whether you are someone who has read The Audacity of Hope or any similar non-fiction text illustrating how hope brought someone through and was what they held onto, or have read inspirational fictional narratives illustrating the same truth is not particularly important. What is important is the realization that hope lies beneath or is held within, and is called upon precisely in times like those we are living in.
“…hope lies beneath or is held within, and is called upon precisely in times like those we are living in.”
Ravaged by a pandemic first denied by, then exacerbated by the man primarily responsible for providing hope, in the midst of outcries for social justice which was long overdue, and with an ever-increasing number of events making evident the damage of unchecked human contributions to climate change, there have been many forces weighing people down.
In my lifetime I have been fortunate to befriend strong and hopeful people: a biracial, bisexual woman who suffered a variety of trauma as a child; Lakota elders who have lived long enough to see their own people continuing to suffer until they take the sickness of dominant culture into themselves and their own people; a variety of people who based upon their color, sexual orientation or other factors, have been neglected, abused and marginalized. Through their various experiences what each of them found, exemplified and brought to those around them was hope – not the blind hope of someone who has never experienced the world outside their bubble, but the hope that is buried deep, the hope that is not born of intellectual reasoning but rather rests upon knowing what is in fact possible with enough hard work and willingness to ignore the people who would say it isn’t. And, while I have faced my own difficulties, through these people who have suffered more than I ever have and still pressed forward with hope, a new perspective I have obtained.
“…the hope that…rests upon knowing what is in fact possible with enough hard work and willingness to ignore the people who would say it isn’t…”
I am as flawed as any human (more so than most I think at times), but I have donated over a hundred of pints of blood and made over 100 platelet donations, I have run thousands of miles as part of efforts to raise thousands of dollars for causes which are not my own, participated in protests for various causes in an effort to support peace, social justice, environmental activism, and I have tried to be a good friend and father. Whatever my own contributions are to try to foster hope within people, to try to demonstrate that there are people who care outside their own interest, cause and life’s framework, to try to show to my children that we can all step outside self-interest and grow beyond who we are today by keeping hope alive.
Hope as Bright as Sunshine…
Hope is simple. Hope is a force…
Call it spiritual or emotional or whatever terms best suits you – which we can find within ourselves and call upon to get us through – most of us do this at various times in our lives. Simple does not mean easy though, and in different ways in each of our lives we have seen this.
Artists Engaged in Hopeful Action…
Perhaps now more than ever, we as a society need to look as much to the emotional inspiration of artists as the intellectual reasonings of brilliant minds if we are to find and raise hope high enough that our children feel their children will have a hopeful life, because the hard work is not done because we reason hope will get us there, it is done because we feel and believe within ourselves that we must do what we can to bring it about.
“…we as a society need to look as much to the emotional inspiration of artists as the intellectual reasonings of brilliant minds if we are to find and raise hope high enough that our children feel their children will have a hopeful life…”
Wherever you are on this simple yet not easy hope journey, I invite you to build the capacity for Hope by sending Ripples through community as you continue to create, volunteer, explore, teach, and build peace and justice.