on the politics of hope

This blog could easily have been written about a movement coming together to enable change at the highest level in a political party and in a way that is exactly what this blog will be about. This blog is about Hope.

I have written here often about embracing change, about seizing the day, about trusting in yourself and the universe to deliver what is necessary.  It matters.

Hope is a word that has been much used in the recent campaign and also in the media.  To live without hope is to live with despair.  For each of the people struggling with illness, with sadness, with bereavement and with poverty, hope is the only thing left.  Hope for a decent life, hope to be treated with dignity and care, hope that the world will understand and support us all, hope is political, hope is universal, hope is all of our responsibilities.

What does this small word really mean? The dictionary is a good place to start.  The Oxford English gives us three definitions

A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen: A person or thing that may help or save someone: Grounds for believing that something good may happen:

All accurate, all true, this is what the word hope means. Yet I think it is so much more. Hope is the light in a dark place.  Hope is the flicker in the heart that encourages it to keep beating.  Hope is the opposite of despair. Hope is what makes us keep on keeping on.

Of the three definitions it is the last one that speaks to me.  Hope is ‘grounds for believing that something good may happen’.  In other words, hope is action  Hope is the mechanism for beginning to trust the world around us, and hope is tangible.  This means it is always possible to create hope.  Even in a desperate world hope can be offered.  A helping hand, a smile and acceptance of each other as one and the same.

So, in a week when undoubtedly the press will implode with reasons not to be happy, when we will see ever more people struggling and dying who we know could help, when the politics are personal and the individual is lost, it is vital that we remember hope.

Hope is the person who gave a pair of boots so that a refugee may wear them and walk on with dry feet. Hope is the smile between those who recognise their bond. Hope is powerful and can and does change lives forever.

My hope is that changes over the weekend will give a voice of hope in a place where we have had little evidence of standing up for the hopeless.  I hope that those in need of help will be given the help they need and will come through the darkness.

Writing this I am remembering a poem that has stayed with me for a long time. In this poem  Sheenagh Pugh says exactly how hope can be and this has been a source of comfort to me many times.

Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:  may it happen for you.

If we remember that Hope is action, then each of us can play our part and create hope within our own world.  Today we can do that, and we should.

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