To Keep Hope Alive


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Dark Days

These seem like very dark days on earth. We are in the midst of a global struggle that many define as the Third World War. We fear terrorists with bombs. We fear our neighbors with guns.  We fear that the earth is warming beyond reversible limits.

We are afraid.  We are angry.  Our governments seem to be working against us in a frantic effort to hold onto power and wealth.

Worst of all, to me: We are being convinced to turn on each other.  We hurl the most hateful words at each other, sneering, “The libs hate America” and “Those neocons are a bunch of bigots.”

We stand on opposite sides, with a huge dark line between us. We face each other, but we can’t find a way to talk about our fear or our anger.  We can only scream.  “Put down the guns!” “Don’t touch my guns!”            “Keep out the Muslims!”  “Let in the Muslims!”                                         “Liberals suck!”   “Conservatives suck!”

We can’t find a way to look at each other and ask, “What is it that you want from your government?”  or “What is your greatest hope?”

These are just dark days.

We turn on the radio and the TV, and all we can see is that ISIS is coming to get us.  All we can hear is that terrorism is all around us.  We begin to feel doomed. We begin to believe those who tell us that we have to protect ourselves from each other.

One of my sons shared a quote with me tonight.  He said that it is resonating over and over in his head.  He is 25 years old, on the brink of his full life.  And this is what he hears in his mind: “What can men do against such reckless hate?”

So how do we hold onto hope?

We turn off the radio, unplug the TV.  We stop thinking in labels (liberal, conservative, southerner, neocon, Christian, Muslim, white, black, rich, poor).   We stop the shouting.  We listen.

We look at the people in the grocery store. We smile at them and exchange a comment about the weather. We smile at children.  We tell young mothers how beautiful their babies are.

We remember that it is a very big world, and most of it is safe and calm. We look into the eyes of the babies in our lives, and we find a quiet place in our hearts.  We remind ourselves that those little innocent souls carry no labels yet.  We take a breath, and we whisper a promise to those little ones. We tell them that we will do our best to keep the world in one piece for them.  They smile up at us, trusting us to keep our word.

And that is how we keep hope alive.

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8 thoughts on “To Keep Hope Alive

  1. I am 81, retired, and have lived in Ajijic, Mexico for the past 9 years. Can’t afford to live in my own country….don’t know which political party is responsible for that…but I digress.

    For reasons that escape me, this is a bastion of liberal thinking, witness the printing of your article about your Trump theorizing in the Guadalajara Reporter.

    Democrats Abroad in this area are all hell-bent on continuing the Clinton saga, mindless of the fact that, should there be a cataclysmic event that destroys the word, the only things left will be rats, cockroaches, and the Clintons!

    There’s gotta be something wrong with a group of people who worship the Clintons. A womanizer, a compulsive liar, and an opportunistic daughter! Yet confront any liberal/progressive with verifiable facts as research will confirm, they look at you with a blank stare, tell you that “Everything is Bushs’ fault”, and go on berating anything of a conservative nature.

    If you want to discuss billionaires, check into your own beloved George Soros, Obama’s enabler, Jew killer, and general all around drudge! There’s a guy who makes Trump look like an alter boy!

    You progressives invented Trump. He is plugging onto the frustrations of all Americans who love their country…not those who criticize it at every opportunity, like our venereal (or is that venerable…I always get those words confused) president. That’s why Trump’s going up in the polls. Americans are so disgusted with political correctness, and mealy-mouthed Obamaisms and crackpot liberal agendas. I hope that, if your theory is correct, and he wakes up one day as President in spite of his intentions (which even renowned political pundits are now starting to fear), there’s going to be a house cleaning.

    I wasn’t 10 words into your schtick when I realized that you HAD to be a teacher. I hope you’re proud of the extremely effective “dumbing down of America”, that liberal academics have been shoving down our throats for years. How else could your enabling political policies thrive?

    I hope your worst nightmare comes to pass!!

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    • My goodness, you certainly are a bitter old soul. I’m sorry that you feel so terrible. You have managed to accuse me of several terrible crimes all based on one humorous post. It may surprise you to know that I am not a Clinton supporter, not at all. It may surprise you to know that I am incredibly proud of the many years of teaching that I’ve done. How did you manage to let your life get so far off track that you find pleasure in attacking a total stranger, and somehow you feel justified in blaming me for your inability to afford to live in your native country? I’m terribly sorry for you, Mr. Trotter. I can’t imagine how sad it must be to live in your head.

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