I’ve been thinking a lot about hope this past week. Like so many, I’ve been asking, Where is the hope in this? And asking myself if the hope I write and speak about still holds.
My answer to both questions is, Yes. I’ve been realizing something though, slowly, like the roots of potato plants growing underground, hidden from view: true hope is like true love.
There are many kinds of love – flaccid, delusional, obsessive, violent even. But then there’s the Golden Fleece: true love. True hope is like true love. It evolves when the going gets rough, or worse yet, circumstances seem impossible. It’s in those moments that hope, like love, strengthens.
Like true love, true hope involves risk. There’s no “satisfaction guarantee.” Fact is, people risk their lives for love. And we know this is one of the noblest actions.
The parallels keep coming: true hope is one of the most powerful and beautiful expressions of the human heart. There can be moments when we live it out through our actions, that we find the capacity to transform ourselves and the world we live in. In those moments, it’s an expression of our deepest life force. And in that sense, we share this with so many other creatures that inhabit the world. What’s an animal doing when they protect their young or their territory? They know, “There is something I can do.” And they do it. Whether it’s Isamophobia or racism or ocean conservation or climate change, there are so many things we can do and we need to do them. And do them more. And strengthen our determination to do them. And do it together as communities.
Here are some articles I’ve been reading that I recommend for more ideas:
“We Need Hope That’s Gritty and Grounded,” by Omid Safi
“All Is Not Lost on Climate Change,” by Eric Holthaus
“A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-elect Trump,” by Nicholas Kristof
“The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story,” by Charles Eisenstein
And the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, is all the more relevant to our times.
Thank you Liz. Beautiful analogy. And like true love and true hope, you find that you want to commit yourself to the relationship. So here’s to commitment — a commitment to action.
And thanks for the articles too. I really loved Omid’s.
Let’s add Joanna Macy’s book Active Hope to the list. Her subtitle says it all: How To Face the Mess We’re In Without Going Crazy