Is there hope for hope?

by N. Logsdon Mandelkorn

“How’s that hopey-changey thing working out for ya?” taunted the woman from Wasilla with a condescending nasal twang.  Not so good thanks to your ilk, I think.  Is it really so satisfying to block any progress and fight for failure just to score political points?

It’s not fair to lay all blame on Republicans, Fox News and the Tea Baggers of America. Chaos is everywhere.  Even Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, a Democratic President, and an apparently highly energized majority of the electorate haven’t been able to deliver much of that hopey-changey thing that was promised in 2008.

Whatever happened to the notion of all Americans working together to find solutions that will benefit all of us?  Even as I’m inundated with the continuous whine of self-serving, right-wing, corporate-approved political propaganda, I still want to find reasons to hope! And we really do need to change our ways!

I was saddened by the recent death of historian Howard Zinn. I read and watched so many wonderful tributes to him. Our world is a better place thanks to this man. He left us a wealth of ideas, and among the tributes I found a bit of his wonderful, wise advice  to hold onto and to pass on.

Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, wrote, “Thank you, Howard Zinn, for this amazing, inspiring paragraph, which I’ve had on my wall for years now:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.

“If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future.

“The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

3 responses to “Is there hope for hope?

  1. Love it.
    You are so right on about the whiners who sit on their butts, and do nothing to help improve the situation. and I love the quote from Howard Zinn. He was someone I admired as well, and his words ( in my opinion) are eternally truthful.

    As it so happens, I was recently looking at a video that came out around the time of Obama’s election where a bunch of different celebrities are pledging what it is that they plan to do to help out. I will send the link in case it never came your way… I had saved it because I found, and still find, it to be moving.

    Lots of love to you,

  2. A smart and positive post. Thanks for the re-posting the great quote, too.

  3. i agree that hope, in and of itself, is a bold risky act of love for the world, each an every time.
    i once had a disagreement with a friend who said that people weren’t worth it and he was very cynical about the way the world was going. i told him he might be right but that i couldn’t put my energy there. i must focus, as Zinn said, on what works and can work; otherwise life is not worth living. Fortunately, i can and do do that and it IS!!!

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