To Be Hopeful In Bad Times

A little light on a dark day.

…with a guest appearance by our neighbor’s trailer. We don’t know any of our neighbors very well, but this man has a kind smile and always says hello and asks about our garden, and last week he gave us a whole wheelbarrow full of very nice soil and compost. Things like this make me feel hopeful. I know a gift of dirt doesn’t immediately make for a better tomorrow but I believe the hope that it brings my heart is a good place to start. That’s what I’m thinking about on this sad, rainy afternoon in a world that has one less vital light in it. No matter what, I won’t lose hope.

The title of this post is inspired by a friend’s thoughts over on Facebook, accompanied by the following quote:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

–Howard Zinn

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