Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here's to Hope

The other day, I was sitting at the table, enjoying a lovely squash from a local farmer that I had cooked up with some curry and cinnamon, an started to think about one of my dearest friends. She's this lovely little spunky girl, who I'm still trying to figure out. I love her dearly, but most definitely, she's a cynic at heart. Anyways, I was sitting there and thinking to myself about how extremely different we are, and yet extremely similar. It's very strange.

We are both IR students. We are both passionate about human rights and environmental issues. We both say what we think. We are both pretty spunky - though in different ways. For me, I'm spunky in big crowds. In little crowds, I kind of clam up and have a much more difficult time getting my thoughts across. For her, she clams up in front of crowds, and in smaller settings, says EXACTLY what she thinks. I also express myself best through writing. She expresses herself best through speaking.

But here's the main difference: She's a cynic. I'm... hopeful. And I think that it really makes a difference, in a lot of ways.

If you didn't already notice, the world is terrible. Every day, thousands of people die from hunger, hundreds are killed in conflict, women are raped, children are kidnapped and forced to fight as soldiers, dictators oppress, and people are hurt. And you know what, all through history, there's been abuses. There's been slavery, there's been apartheid, there's been colonial imperialism, there's been the oppression of the media, the sub-human treatment of women, the torture chambers of the Medieval period, the wars of Christendom, the wars of Islam, and the list goes on and on and on. Let's just sum it up: the world is a great big disaster. Sometimes, it's enough to make you want to jump out a window. A really high window.

But here's the thing: You can look at those disasters in two different ways. The first is to say that they exist, will never change, and then jump out a window. I'll call this the depressing view of the world.

The second way is to say that the problems exist, that they are terrible and awful, and then try and do something about them. I'll call this the hopeful view of the world.

My world view has always been the second one. And to be honest, I think that... I think that it has to be.

Hope is believing that there's something better, that there's something beyond what is here and now, and that while it's going to take a long time to achieve, that you're going to believe it's possible and work towards it while you're still able to. It's seeing a world where love, peace, kindness, goodness, and where truth, honesty, and justice prevail.

And while right now, these do not seem possible, I have to believe that one day, we'll be a bit closer.

I think that Jesus never wanted us to just wait for heaven for everything to be perfect - I think that heaven starts right now, the moment you become a Christian. God works in your heart and takes over your hands, your heart, your mind, your feet, and you make heaven right here. Or at least, God does through you. But we have to HOPE. That is the key - nothing will or can happen without hope. We cannot simply accept what is. We've just to push for what could be.

Here's to Hope.

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