This was my response the other night to my roommate who was asking me what I thought we should do in response to the seemingly dark times we live in.
My heart has been heavy since this conversation but also lightened.
It’s so easy to give up hope right now. Every where we turn – every screen we turn on/open – all we seem to see is bad news, messages of fear or just plain civil division.
As optimistic as I believe I am, there have been times I’ve wanted to give in – either to the fear or to the indifference I feel creeping up at times. At this point it seems that my heart is torn between this fickle couple with hope taking a far back seat to the reality of the day.
And I’ve seen it in others as responses to fear and hate have been more of the same. Giving in and responding in kind won’t get us anywhere constructive.
The truth is, though, that nothing good grows in fear, hate or indifference. The path out is not found there.
The path out is found in sowing seeds of goodness and intentionally forcing/letting light in. The path out is found in leaning in toward one another and not away.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t deflect reality and ignore it but what I am saying is that I wholeheartedly believe that it’s possible to know, realize and spread a message of hope even in the midst of such terrible circumstances.
Our humanity is found in hope.
Our humanity depends on looking at something small and saying ‘this is good’ and letting that be our cornerstone.
I’ve sensed this for some time, especially with this current political season we’re in the midst of, but we can’t forget that there are good things all around us. Simply because it demands the most attention, we can’t push out the good in lieu of fear and indifference even if it seems to be what we encounter the most often.
Talking to Jared, my roommate, the other night I about lost my ability to hold back the tears because he was able to verbalize what I think a lot of us are feeling.
‘If it’s all bad, what’s the effort worth fighting against it if we just encounter brick wall after brick wall?’
Good things, hopeful things, must be given space to grow. I believe that happens when we talk about it together and choose to let what festers out into the wild. And hope, like most things that counter the dark corners of the world, will need to be jumpstarted in small, intentional ways.
It’s up to each of us to make sure we’re letting the good into the fear and indifference that seems to envelop us.