With the daily barrage of alarming news and 24/7 outrage, I find myself more committed than ever to focusing on the things that give me hope. It is a choice to do so, and in doing so it prevents me from becoming discouraged or demoralized and therefore less capable of making my contribution to a more just, sane world.
I am curious what gives you all hope and the motivation to do the same?
Here are a few things that I carry:
My job involves working with hundreds of non-profits and supporting them to engage in non-partisan voter registration, advocacy, voter education and protection and voter turnout. It allows me to travel the country to meet and work with thousands of courageous, innovative, dynamic leaders of color who are making significant change for their communities and in their states. It is a blessing to know them; their stories are not told nearly enough.
The demographics of our country are changing, and while demographics are not destiny, the United States will look different and with that difference come opportunities to rescue our current politics from the dismal state that it is in. We need to boldly reach out to those who are new to our country, and combat the efforts of reactionary forces by providing a more appealing alternate narrative.
Young people. When I was a kid growing up in a tough, working class neighborhood outside of Detroit, we used to kick the asses of “sissies” and other people that were different than us. I learned how wrong I was, and I was given and took opportunities to atone for my knuckleheaded behavior. It is something that I am still ashamed of. My kids and their friends are so much more tolerant and less afraid than my generation. The kids I know reject the idea of “The Other.”
Science. People are living longer, healthier lives. Diagnoses that once were a death sentence increasingly are the beginning of processes to manage illnesses. Scientific progress should be managed but it has transformed our world in so many positive ways.
We’ve been here before and prevailed. Fascism was on the march in the 20’s and 30’s and Democracy punched back harder. Hopefully it will not take another cataclysmic war to do so. And even more hopefully, as we defeat the rise of the Authoritarians we will create democratic institutions in the process that are more democratic, less theocratic and less corporate controlled.
By no means do I suggest we put on rose colored glasses and pretend that the concerted, coordinated attacks on the pillars of democracy can be wished away. Rather, I choose to be hopeful so that I can do my part in preserving and improving upon those democratic institutions.
Maybe this post is a silly idea and will go nowhere, but I’m counting on this crew to be a hopeful bunch and I’m hoping to hear what gives you reasons to be hopeful.