Hope

Rainbow

Hope is the most valuable, most powerful catalyst that we can give to suicidal people, and what, I ask you, could be more suicidal than the culture in which we live?  (Love Always Wins, p. 88)

When I read a long list of complaints against the status quo, or I hear despair in conversation or written comments, I hear the beating of the drums of alarm and fear. If the arguments are brought to the ultimate conclusion of their logic, it leads to desperate and violent acts of defiance. I look for the hidden assumption, which is usually that whoever is making the argument has no power, or that there is no external force, person, or situation that will change the world to their definition of security, prosperity and quality of life. Therefore, there is no hope.  (Love Always Wins, p. 112)

When we define ourselves as independent agents competing for mastery over a finite set of circumstances, we imply that we are surrounded by enemies in a hopeless situation. This can lead to homicide and, more often than that, to suicide. When we humbly see our place in the context of the larger system of humanity, we are much more likely to participate in solving complex problems which may have otherwise seemed overwhelming. The willingness to cooperate is the new touchstone of sanity. It leads to not just survival, but an abundantly joyous survival.(Love Always Wins, p. 131)

What truly gives us the power to change the world is our own attitudes. The people who abolished slavery and the people who gave women the right to vote refused to be overwhelmed, refused to be victims of “the system.” The systemic institutions of violence can be dismantled. It may be a long and arduous path, and if we the people give up before we even get started, we actually support the continuation of that violence, we are complicit with it. How can we give ourselves permission to be who we truly are, to be aware of our mission in life, and to have a wonderful adventure while doing it? We can learn to have detached playfulness, creativity and resilience. These are the characteristics of someone who can navigate through difficulties to a better world. (Love Always Wins, p. 115)

As we become more resilient — stronger, more resourceful, more imaginative, more creative, and more response-able — that strength becomes contagious, and we become leaders. The power of collaboration and community can be better elicited by people who do not spread fear but instead inspire hope by their actions.

I have become convinced that I have the power to mid-wife this world into one that is free of domination. I believe that all it takes to birth this world is for me to transform myself into a more mature, responsible, and loving person. That’s all I have to do, nothing more than that, nothing less than that. Nothing is more important than that transformation. When I change my inner world, my external behavior shifts to match, and I become a creative source of systemic change. (Love Always Wins, p. 116)

Moreover, if I can do it, with my history of dysfunction and wounding, certainly you can do it. The ripple effect from this transformation is immeasurable, and it has the power to stimulate the largest institutions of repressive domination to implode. This turns conventional thought on its head, and would appear to be insane to most people, a kind of megalomania, which it is not. It is the exact opposite of megalomania. It is acknowledging our critical participation in energetic systems far larger than ourselves. It is saying we are co- creators. (Love Always Wins, p. 16)

Our ability to recover from a culture of violence depends greatly upon our self-confidence that we have the resources to accomplish the task. If we believe we are a victim of the system, the power to change that system resides in the hands of other people. If we adopt the role of a rebel against the system, then all our anger and blame can be directed against it. Both victim and rebel are reactions to what appears to be a static situation. However, if we shift our thinking and believe we are co-creators of a dynamic system, we are free to take responsibility for our part in it. This initial change that begins within ourselves provides the inspirational energy, the hope, the idea, for others near us and the entire culture, to recover.  (Love Always Wins, p. 106)

I see an interconnectedness between the emotional processes of our collective humanity over a period of several years and that of individuals on a daily basis. My recovery from fear and distrust has helped me to see how out-of-control extremes of abusive human behavior, including my own rage at the micro level and national acts of war at the macro level, are part of normal, predictable learning patterns that can lead to stability and security, but only when there is new information, hope and mutual support available. (Love Always Wins, p. 24)

Stable harmony and peace come from security, health and growth for all people. It is not a static destination. It is not the end of conflict. It is a dynamic stability very much like balancing a bicycle in motion, a skill that may be tricky to learn at first. Peace is a never-ending process of recovery from domination and violence. This is how I understand and speak about peace, as an active story in which we participate, labor and toil. Peace — a sustainable world — is many acts of inner transformation, daily actions of acceptance, release of subjective judgments and continuous collaboration. (Love Always Wins, p. 90)

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