Because, quite simply, hope is what keeps me going. And I suspect I am not alone in that. When I wrestle with my own personal, professional and political challenges, it is my hope that things can and will get better, that keeps my chin up. If I did not have hope, I would give up now. Hope is the basis of my actions to build a better world, (and be the dad, husband, son, family member, friend... human being that I wish to be).
Sometimes, I feel daunted by just how much hope I have for my family, my friends and the wider world. I feel daunted because there is so much to hope for: a world in which everyone gets the opportunity to dream and to have the resources to realise those dreams and ambitions. And when bad things happen in the world that are taking us in the opposite direction, I have to ramp up my hope some more.
Every now and then, I come across shining examples of where other people are committing to hope as well: hope for a better, fairer and more peaceful world. And this feels good: my 'hope batteries' get a recharge.
And in the last 24 hours, we have had this in bucketfuls! The tragic events in Sydney have been broadcast around the world and three people have died. Others have been seriously wounded. (My thoughts are with them and their close ones.) It would have been all too easy for this news to be turned into hate for people who follow Islam. Instead, a random story of compassion (originally not posted for public consumption) has grabbed the headlines and the #Illridewithyou hashtag has taken over international social media. For me this represents a determined faith in the unity of all and solidarity with everyone: never say for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. The #Illridewithyou hashtag is a defiant act of love against those who would use the Sydney siege to foster hate & fragmentation.
The hashtag is also a act of hope: hope for a world in which peace, tolerance and humanity thrive and grow, (while violence, hate and bigotry wither away).
And so with hope in our hearts, none of us ever have to walk alone...
May I wish you abundant seasonal greetings, whatever faith or none that you have, and I hope that you will join me in hoping for an amazing 2015 for everyone in the world!
UPDATE 1055 | 161214: And now the world has to face this terrible event: Pakistan Taliban 'kill 100' in assault on Peshawar school. Words cannot express the deep sadness, distress and anger I feel about this. What possesses people to commit such crimes? It is almost irresistible to despair that people can hate this much. But I won't. I fully expect the world to rally again, and express their love and solidarity with all those affected by these terrible events. We MUST continue to hope for a better world and take actions based on love to make those hopes come true. Be strong.
My heart goes out to all the children, families & parents affected by this. This violence has got to stop! This hate has got to stop! This objectification and dehumanisation of 'others' has got to STOP!!!