Essay about hope

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Essay about hope

When you recognise uncertainty, you recognise that you may be able to influence the outcomes — you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others.

Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists adopt the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting.

It is the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterwards either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.

There are major movements that failed to achieve their goals; there are also comparatively small gestures that mushroomed into successful revolutions.

The self-immolation of impoverished, police-harassed produce-seller Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 Decemberin Tunisia was the spark that lit a revolution in his country and then across northern Africa and other parts of the Arab world in Whatever else the Arab spring was, it is an extraordinary example of how unpredictable change is and how potent popular power can be.

And five years on, it is too soon to draw conclusions about what it all meant. You can tell the genesis story of the Arab spring other ways. The quiet organising going on in the shadows beforehand matters. So does the comic book about Martin Luther King and civil disobedience that was translated into Arabic and widely distributed in Egypt shortly before the uprising.

So the threads of ideas weave around the world and through the decades and centuries. After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere.

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Many come from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms, mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus.

Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but it is the less visible long-term organising and groundwork — or underground work — that often laid the foundation. Changes in ideas and values also result from work done by writers, scholars, public intellectuals, social activists and participants in social media.

To many, it seems insignificant or peripheral until very different outcomes emerge from transformed assumptions about who and what matters, who should be heard and believed, who has rights.

Disaster is a lot like revolution: Our hope and often our power. Making an injury visible and public is usually the first step in remedying it, and political change often follows culture, as what was long tolerated is seen to be intolerable, or what was overlooked becomes obvious.

Which means that every conflict is in part a battle over the story we tell, or who tells and who is heard. Some activists are afraid that if we acknowledge victory, people will give up the struggle.

I have long been more afraid that people will give up and go home or never get started in the first place if they think no victory is possible or fail to recognise the victories already achieved. A victory is a milestone on the road, evidence that sometimes we win and encouragement to keep going, not to stop.

Or it should be. My own inquiry into the grounds for hope has received two great reinforcements in recent years. One came from the recognition of how powerful are the altruistic, idealistic forces already at work in the world.

Most of us would say, if asked, that we live in a capitalist society, but vast amounts of how we live our everyday lives — our interactions with and commitments to family lives, friendships, avocations, membership in social, spiritual and political organisations — are in essence noncapitalist or even anticapitalist, made up of things we do for free, out of love and on principle.Best Custom Writing Service - the Solution to Your Problems.

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Essay about hope

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