On What is Hope?
I just finished reading ‘So Far from Home: lost and found in our brave new world’ by Margaret Wheatley, as per a friend’s recommendation. It’s a bit of a heart-breaking book, but much of it resonated.
Wheatley talks about how she has come to a point in her life where she has become resolved to the idea that the world cannot be saved. Environmental devastation, political and big-business corruption, and distraction & disconnect with reality due to too much technology have all contributed to a very dire situation, and we are so very far gone.
It’s hard to argue with this, even if you are the kind of person that sees little pockets of love and goodness everywhere.
I am still not convinced that we won’t get it together eventually.
Wheatley calls on all of us to let go of clinging to outcomes and take on ‘warriorship’
simply for the sake of the human spirit,
which I can easily liken to my own ‘Peace at Home Project’ and why I do it.
What other choice do I have? What choice do any of us really have?
At some point, we must accept that we can only do what we can do. Perhaps it makes more sense to stop despairing and railing against the ills of this world,
and simply focus on doing our own good and meaningful works in our own ways and in our own little corners.
Sometimes we must accept that we are in the dark of night, and then bravely light our own candle. That, maybe, is true courage, true kindness, true resilience – the fortitude to not give up even amidst the black of night.
We are not going to light up the night, but we can light the spot we stand on. We all can.
Hope then becomes detached from an expectation of outcomes, transcending how we think things should be or should turn out.
Hope just is.
Hope is not a feeling that comes and goes with with external circumstances. Hope is who we are independent of outcomes. Hope is as basic to humans as compassion and intelligence. It is always present, it never leaves us. It is not dependent on success and not afflicted by failure. Thus, it is free from fear. And without fear, we can see clearly. We see what our work is, we have the strength to persevere, we do what we feel is right work and, as poet T. S. Eliot wrote, ‘the rest is not our business.’ Margaret Wheatley
Letters Old School
While I was convalescing from my heart surgery, I received a care package in the mail from a dear childhood friend. It’s hard for me to properly describe the utter delight I felt when I opened up this box filled with books, chocolate, tea, puzzles, and other treats. What a lovely, heart-warming, inspired, genuine gift of love.
I so want to reciprocate. I so want everyone to send each other unexpected boxes of treasures.
How fun would that be?
This thoughtful gift of love reminded me of the power of tangible gifts and written words of love and support. This is just not the same as texts and messages, though those can certainly be uplifting too.
There is such creative delight in putting words to real paper, wrapping, fussing, addressing and placing a stamp on an envelope, giving. There is such joy and love to be found in the effort.
This week, I finally wrote a letter thanking this particular friend for her gesture. I was at the swimming pool sitting on the deck while my kids swam and I had the time to find the right words. I will maybe tuck in a few beautiful goodies in the envelope for her, too, and send back some love across the miles, old school.
Last post it was cardboard boxes. This time it’s been lego – oh lego, you beautiful and inspired forever toy-
and speaking of old school, George has had his nose in this lately rather than his ipod which has also felt like a parenting win.
I also got to tell the kids about how Rubic’s Cubes came out when I was in elementary school and how everyone had one. Go 80s!
I am not naive.
I know that these times of carefree play for my kids are numbered. They are not little anymore.
So, I more intently savour the sweetness of these unstructured hours and days of summer before jobs and peer influences pull at them harder…
But today, we play.