Hope… Is It Enough?

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” ~ Michelle Obama, 2011

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A portrait of Michelle Obama

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

~ Michelle Obama

It may be an understatement that we live in very troubled times. I know from my study of history and my daily history blog, “John’s Believe It Or Not,” that every era has had its troubles, yet the present seems especially fearful. The fact that the leader of the free world exacerbates the issues plaguing humanity gives one pause. How can there be hope for progress and a better future when a narcissistic megalomaniac has been allowed to run amok in the White House?

Tsunami engulfing a highway
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

When I was a high school student in the 1960s, I read that scientists believed that the world would soon go beyond the point of no return in terms of environmental damage. Today not much has changed in how world economies operate and there are studies that claim that we are only a few decades from the next natural crisis that will result in massive extinctions. We are witnessing extreme weather events intensified by the global warming that we caused. Yet, Trump and other ‘leaders’ tell us that global warming is bogus – fake news!

Banner showing a man on the ground overcome by racism and discrimination
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

While racist-driven conflicts occur with regularity in the US, Trump is unwilling to condemn the alt-right groups that instigate them. Instead, he rails against the North Koreans, heaping insults on their megalomaniac leader, and at the same time, he picks a fight with pro sports as players protest against racism. I could go on, but what we have here is a man who sews division and intolerance every single day in his own country, and, more dangerously, around the world.

A picture of destruction from warfare with a caption, "Peace??"
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

The situation seems lost because we have an inexperienced leader who will not listen to reason. It makes me anxious and fearful about the immediate future. I’m also tempted to give in to the negativity and resign myself to despair. Is there no hope?

I found this quote by Michelle Obama as part of her keynote address at the Young African Women Leaders Forum in South Africa in 2011. Her words fit today’s circumstances rather well. I found myself buoyed by her belief in the power of courage and hope.

However, her central message is that you and I who are citizens of our many countries have critical roles to play as agents of change. I am not a political leader or a multi-billionaire but Mrs. Obama rightly points out that as a thinking, caring citizen of the world, I have an important role to play as the future unfolds.

My life experience as a teacher, author, and blogger gave me the opportunity to acquire communication skills and a soapbox. The Internet allows me to publish my words on a daily basis and that presents both an opportunity and a responsibility. All that is required is that I defy the fear that gnaws at my soul and summon the courage to be a harbinger of hope.

Two hands holding a lit candle.
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)

Despite all the nasty rhetoric and sensationalist news reporting that I see and hear every day, the former First Lady of the United States uttered a phrase that ignited hope in my heart, “courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” I never looked at it quite that way before!

In actual practice, what does this mean? If I am to be an agent of change, I must have the courage to reject the negativity and be a voice of positivism. In doing that, others will take heart and apply the lesson in their own lives. The resulting positive attitude is shared and it spawns hope for a better tomorrow, and that hope will grow exponentially in the hearts of other courageous men and women. One becomes many. Many can bring about great change.

There is so much good in humanity! We are rational beings of free will and capable of so much love. History gives testimony to this fact. It is also true that humans are capable of perpetrating horrifying evil as well. We all have both sides of that human nature within us – like it or not, it is our birthright.

The choice is ours. Let us reach out to each other and forge a better tomorrow.

 

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

54 thoughts on “Hope… Is It Enough?”

  1. Oh John! This post is beautifully penned and motivates us to take action as we each CAN make a difference. Let hope not be lost. That quote from Michelle at the start of the post is amazing, by the way. Sharing this one across my social networks!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on TINA FRISCO and commented:
    John Fioravanti has written a brilliant article on the troubled times in which we live, suggesting that the choices we make will determine whether or not we survive as a species. I couldn’t agree more. #Highly recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have stirred my heart and soul, John. Brilliantly written, this article is a beacon of light, a beacon of hope. You’re right: we humans harbor the potential for both good and evil, and we choose which one to perpetuate. Holding positive thoughts and directing that energy into the world is a responsibility we must own if our species is to survive. I’m sharing this on all of my social network pages as my part in helping spread the light. Hugs to you, brother ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, John.

    I always hope that more people realize the potential for change if they’d just get up off the comfortable couch, turn off the TV and get involved. Taking inspired action to help affect positive change will affect positive change whether we see it immediately or not. We have too many of what I call armchair activists. The people who support a monster like trump are in need of a powerful change of consciousness, but those who care yet do nothing need to be inspired to get out there and help make the change happen. It also gives a boost to how you feel when you take part in positive action to help others as well as give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people who care.

    Sorry if I got too preachy, but your essay inspired me. Thanks. 😀

    Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Super post, John. I think all there is left is hope. Our Congress is in shambles and our leader is clueless. I think the rest of the world who continue to rely on the US for support will have to find their own way. To quote a line from the movie Apocolypse Now, “There is no one in charge up there.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. If each of us did a little charity work, it sure would go a long way. When we donate our time to help those less fortunate, we can begin to see the world through their eyes and gain for ourselves a new perspective.

      Like

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment, D.L. – I love political discussions, but I don’t want to politicize my blog site. I have strong feelings about religion and I keep those reined-in as well. There is so much division and negativity that I would rather give emphasis to the more positive aspects of human nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your courage in addressing this issue today, John. I think many non-political bloggers, myself included, have shied away from this discussion because we don’t want to be seen as being too political. In my opinion, everybody in this country has a right to free public speech except the President. By virtue of his job he should walk a fine line when it come to expressing how he really feels. Everything he decides to say should first be examined through dual lenses. How will it unite the country? How will it demonstrate his ability to be the President of all people—even those of the world. He needs to hire someone who has studied the history of the world so that he can to learn how past leaders were able to succeed (maybe you can do that job😀). And to Michelle’s statement, “Hope can take on a life of its own”, hope is the only thing that some people have had to live on for all of their lives. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Linda. I have refrained from blogging about Trump in my blog posts because I don’t wish to make my political views the main message of this blog site. Every single day I battle my negative tendencies to become a more positive person. That personal battle has never been as difficult as it has since Trump decided to run for President. Robert A. Vella in his blog post “Trump Goes to War Against Professional Sports” (https://thesecularjurist.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/trump-goes-to-war-against-professional-sports/) accurately labels Trump a narcissistic megalomaniac. The advisors he surrounds himself with provide ample evidence that he doesn’t care how presidents should act or speak. He is always right and everyone else was and is wrong. End of story. Yesterday, when I wrote this post, I wanted to express the difficulty I experience in staying positive and how the uplifting words of another person can make a big difference. Michelle Obama, one of the classiest First Ladies in American history gave me that lift when I found that quote. Thanks for your insights, Linda.

      Like

  7. Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Words that need to absorbed, nurtured, practiced and communicated onwards at every opportunity!
    Well said, John! ❤

    Terrible things happen when good people do and say nothing – throw your weight behind these thoughts and be the difference, rather than a resentful, apathetic bystander!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely introduction! Thanks for the reblog today, Jan! I appreciate your comment – that good people are part of the problem if they’re not part of the solution. Railing against those who perpetrate evil, injustice, and suffering is not enough and it isn’t very constructive. Thanks for sharing your positive attitude here today, Jan!

      Liked by 1 person

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