Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Case for Hope

Rebecca Solnit's essay on hope was a day brightener for me this morning.

For a few years, I spoke about hope around this country and in Europe. I repeatedly ran into comfortably situated people who were hostile to the idea of hope: they thought that hope somehow betrayed the desperate and downtrodden, as if the desperate wanted the solidarity of misery from the privileged, rather than action. Hopelessness for people in extreme situations means resignation to one’s own deprivation or destruction. Hope can be a survival strategy. For comfortably situated people, hopelessness means cynicism and letting oneself off the hook. If everything is doomed, then nothing is required (and vice versa).
Worth a trip to The Nation's site to read the whole thing, especially if you're experiencing a dreary day.

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