My inbox is filled with messages about marches, petitions, and other calls to action.
My social media feeds seem to be 90% filled with posts about our dangerous new political realities.
Conversations, no matter the topic, often lead to discussions of difficult political issues.
My thoughts and feelings are influenced by the constant deluge of distressing information.
All of these things are important. We need to be aware, face facts and pay attention to the negative thoughts and feelings that accompany difficult times. They’re our guide to taking needed action.
Yet constantly elevated stress levels can affect our health and well-being, and our ability to act. We need to protect ourselves from that. If we fall into despair and inaction, or if we get sick, how will we keep doing what must be done?
False hope does not recognize the risks and dangers that true hope does. False hope can lead to intemperate choices and flawed decision making. True hope takes into account the real threats that exist and seeks to navigate the best path around them.When times are tough, it’s time for the tough to seek the signs of hope. These continue to exist, though they may be hard to see right now. I’m not advocating that we close our eyes and tell ourselves that everything will be ok.
~Jerome Groopman, The Anatomy of Hope
That sort of blind optimism doesn’t get us anywhere. What does work: Fortifying ourselves by recognizing the true signs of hope that are all around us. Look for, notice, savor and record and things like:
Events to celebrate
Impactful, inspiring activism.
Headlines about successful resistance
Acts of kindness and caring
This is about the #ShePersisted style of hope; hope with a clear vision; hope that will not be quashed – realistic, fierce, strong and indomitable.
Share these signs of hope. We all need to see them. Once a day or more, post one on social media, send one in an email, or speak of them in conversations. When posting, use the hashtag #signsofhope, so we can find them.
Signs of hope strengthen us and those around us, allowing us to remain powerful and engaged for the long haul.