Hope? You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Hope in these times? When everything seems to be difficult? Yes, though it can be hard.

As we look at the history of humankind, we find eras of peace and prosperity, destabilizing times, ages of dissention and violence, and periods of transition where everything seems a bit cattywampus and not quite right. We’re in one of those destabilizing periods. where we can’t seem to get our footing. The Covid pandemic halted a lot of what we considered normal and key to a good life. We lost many small businesses and people went hungry. Today, we don’t have nearly enough affordable housing, which will cost us as a people. Political divisions seem, at times, deeper than the Grand Canyon.

That’s the bad news, and the tough stuff we’re living through.

Hope is hard in difficult times. We need to look at our lives and walk in our world with our eyes wide open. We have some wonderful guides to help us look clearly, with love. See the difficulties and the opportunities. And build from a place of hope. Archbishop Desmond Tutu guided the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, where people shared the horrors of institutionalized racism and abuse, like the necklacing. They cried together, dealt with the pain, and moved forward. The Dalai Lama has lived through oppression and exile. Their Book of Joy includes their reflections on these difficulties, and their celebration of what’s sacred, special, and uplifting in our human experience.

Sometimes, when things are really hard, and difficulties seem insurmountable, it helps to reach out to others. It also helps to focus on what we can do to make a positive difference. Whether it is helping a neighbor, creating a new behavioral health resource, championing policy and funding to address homelessness. Hope is not a feeling, it is a belief that we can prevail. It takes both individual effort communal work. A commitment to care for one another. Everything we do that makes a positive difference does count.

Building Communities of Hope by Rev. Dr. Anne Hays Egan https://tinyurl.com/eb9jybcy