What (or Who) Gives You Hope?

I admit: In recent weeks, I’ve had trouble seeing the silver lining. The more I’ve reflected on the hostile minority’s efforts to tear away democratic protections and scare away good people who work to defend free and fair elections and the right to vote, the more I’ve worried about the prospects for a positive, small-d democratic future. If I were a less optimistic and hopeful person by nature, it would be enough to make me throw up my hands and resign myself to an unwanted fate.

But despite these challenges, that darker future is not a given. We are still nearly a year out from the midterms and the possibility that Democrats can hold onto their majority. President Biden can decide to put all his weight behind ending the filibuster. Congress can still pass federal voting rights legislation. The majority of Americans are motivated by a desire to make things better, and we are capable of backing candidates and voting for leaders seeking constructive change.

And more, looking around, we live in a world of extraordinary, life-altering creativity and achievement. You may have read this last sentence holding in your hand a powerful computer that gives you access to information and knowledge from around the globe in seconds. Every day new books, films, music and other works of art are released, created by passionate, diverse makers motivated to share their ideas and visions. Who knows what technological invention, what creative expression, what visionary idea or what transformative thinker may be just around the corner to change our world? I can tell you that watching (and savoring) the Beatles documentary, Get Back—from a time long remembered as the unraveling of these four lads’ partnership—is actually a window into their active creative genius and the life-affirming, culture-changing collaboration that continues to delight the world a half century later. That gives me hope.

What about you? What—or who—gives you hope? Let’s see if we can fill the comments section with thoughts and ideas and people that heighten our sense of promise. As I said at the top, the shape of the future is not a given.

As always, thank you for being respectful toward each other so that we fully have the opportunity to hear from and learn from each other.

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