Blog cover art is titled “Clearer Waters”, by Jasmine Dawn Holt (age 17), published in Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change.
Four years ago on the day after the 2016 election, we sent a message to you about the importance of radical, resilient hope.
Today, as we await the results of this critical election and acknowledge our country’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, we realize we must call upon hope in a different way.
As Mariam Kaba says, hope is a discipline. We need to decide to be hopeful to get through this difficult era that at times, feels very hopeless.
Hope is cultivated by our thoughts in response to a world that doesn’t follow our manual for what the world should look like. If the world were exactly as you and I preferred it, we wouldn’t need hope, would we?
We have to decide to feel hopeful. Hope is like courage. While you might think courage means feeling no fear, the opposite is true. If you don’t feel any fear, then you don’t need courage. Bravery and courage require the presence of fear.
Hope is the same — it only exists in the context of the world not being the way we want it to be.
We need hope in a world that needs repair.
We need hope when we want to see the world different than the way it is now.
Hope is an active practice and we must commit to taking hopeful action.
So, in addition to active, committed hope, here are some other things to do right now.
Talk about how you feel about climate change and other important, intersecting issues, whatever they are, with whoever will listen. It’s only by having a conversation together that we’re going to figure out what our commitments look like, and begin to create the rapid transformation we need in all aspects of society.
Next, look around you. Wherever you are, this is your community that’s going to transform the world. You can be a leader. We need you to be.
Committing to hope is the way we move forward. I’m committing to being hopeful – even on the days when I don’t feel hopeful.
What is your commitment?