Posted by: r.m. | August 15, 2012

building hope

i speak of hope. i speak to myself and others of hope. of hope as the reason for living, the reason for the struggle. without hope, our actions become empty and selfish — done to ease our guilty conscience rather than build for change.

i speak of hope – and of how those of us with the luxury of our middle-class lives can actually live our lives without struggle for justice. we can choose to accept the consumeristic lifestyle and pat ourselves on the back by choosing the “green” product, by signing a petition, by singing a revolutionary song, by pressing “like” on an image on facebook, by tweeting some news.  we’ve done our share for the world, we can say.  and, amidst this luxury, we can also say, we don’t feel hopeful. hope to us is a choice.  we can choose it or deconstruct it and say it doesn’t exist.

i know this.  i know that hope is not a choice for those struggling on the front lines. palestinians in the occupied lands – all of palestine – must fight to survive, must resist every day.  theirs is a choice of hope or death.

there is a statement on my wall, taken from a slogan written on a wall in South America.  “let’s leave pessimissm for better times.”

we don’t have the right NOT to be hopeful.

i tell myself that Howard Zinn, that beautiful historian, wrote that movements and change are done by thousands of pockets of change, each small but when connected become larger. 

i know that we are the majority.  i know that despite all the harshness and violence, even amidst this violence and insanity, people reach inside of themselves and become more generous, kinder, loving.  most of us are good and decent. 

yes, i know all this. i know it theoretically. i believe it ideologically.

but, lately, it has become much harder to accept it emotionally. to feel it in my blood.  the news of our planet drying and flooding and burning and heating – of possible temperature rises in 6 degrees C by the end of this century.  the globalized, hungry, greedy, empty corporations tearing apart peoples’ livelihoods and homes, from India to Nigeria to the United States to Brazil .. and yes, to Palestine.

and now Syria.

 these past few months, when i search for pockets of change, pockets of hope, I find them too small.  So, I appeal to you.. share your pockets.  Let’s build that line of hope

a critical point, a point that needs to be stated: so long as i – we – stand outside of the struggle, i – we – will find holes in the actions of millions around the world, we will deconstruct the hopes. it is only when we fully join the struggle, then our own actions feed into the pockets of hope all around us …

we have been trained to be pessimistic.  optimism comes from the work itself. and from connecting the struggles.


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