On the Nature of Hope

It’s come to my attention that people are shutting off their social media, turning away from the news, closing their eyes to what’s going on, or even becoming numb to the state of the world. And I get it. I’ve been fighting this fight for years. It’s gotten exponentially harder. Friends of mine are suffering. Some fear for their lives and the lives of their families. We’re tired. It’s exhausting hearing about every injustice that’s occurred. Every headline is like a cut, and it can feel as if we’re slowly bleeding to death. I’d like to point out that this exhaustion is because we all recognize something.

It’s not enough.

For all the marches and protests and donations and screaming, it’s not enough. So we shut down. It’s easier to be numb than it is to face reality, and some part of us holds onto this hope that somehow things will get better.

There is a hope that is dangerous. It’s a hope that keeps us idle, waiting for a savior that will never come. A hope that keeps us complacent. A hope that keeps us watching as the boat sinks and thinking that somehow it won’t.

But there’s another kind of hope, a willful hope, a confronting and determined hope. It’s a hope that calls you into action because that hope is a possibility, a vision, for the future. I envision a future where the Dakota Access Pipeline never comes to fruition, where all Americans have affordable healthcare, where working class people are paid a living wage, where our politicians look out for the people’s interests over their own. I also recognize that waiting for someone to come in and save us will never see that future come true.

This is an invitation, an opportunity if you choose to seize it, to get up and do something. This is bigger than you. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than all of us. So if not now, when? If not you, who? If ever there were a time to do something, it’s now.

Donate. Boycott. Protest. Educate.

This is about more than petty disagreements. We are not petulant children. The fate of our country rests in our hands, as it always has. Millions of people are relying on you, and you just don’t know it yet. You matter. You are important. You can make a difference. You can also cause great harm with your silence. It would be a disservice to your friends and family and, yes, even the world to believe otherwise. Together, we have the power to change the trajectory of this country, but it starts with you taking a stand.

Don’t look away. You are a witness to the greatness of humanity, with all its goodness and faults. Generosity is born of watching suffering with an open heart and listening into the world of another. Witness it. Look for what you can do, not what can be done for you.

And if you ever need support, I offer my hand and my heart readily. I stand with you, maintaining a determined hope. Always.

About T.K.

I'm an LGBT writer, biological anthropology student, and an ardent aro(mantic).* *One who does not feel romantic attraction.
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