Monday, February 29, 2016

Disciplined Hope

Friends, I have spent the last few weeks in a state of despair about our political future. Honestly, I cannot believe that the Republican Party is poised to make Donald Trump its candidate. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday here in Texas and I'm feeling a tightness in my chest and unrest in my heart. The violent and ego-maniacal Trump cannot possibly the Republican party's best hope.

No. I choose a different kind of hope. I chose a kind of hope that believes in the goodness of people. A kind of hope that knows its own divinity. A kind of hope that recognizes the inherent dignity of all people. A kind of hope where Black Lives Matter. A kind of hope that embraces my Muslim brothers and sisters. A kind of hope that rejects white supremacy and greets women as equals. It is in this spirit that I offer the poem below - a glorious reminder from poet Rubem Alves that we ourselves are the seed of a greater and more compassionate future.

What is hope?
It is the pre-sentiment that imagination
is more real and reality is less real than it looks.
It is the hunch that the overwhelming brutality
of facts that oppress and repress us
is not the last word.
It is the suspicion that reality is more complex
than the realists want us to believe.
That the frontiers of the possible are not
determined by the limits of the actual;
and in a miraculous and unexplained way
life is opening up creative events
which will open the way to freedom and resurrection –
but the two – suffering and hope
must live from each other.
Suffering without hope produces resentment and despair.
But, hope without suffering creates illusions, naïveté
and drunkenness.
So let us plant dates
even though we who plant them will never eat them.
We must live by the love of what we will never see.
That is the secret discipline.
It is the refusal to let our creative act
be dissolved away by our need for immediate sense experience
and is a struggled commitment to the future of our grandchildren.
Such disciplined hope is what has given prophets, revolutionaries and saints,
the courage to die for the future they envisage.
They make their own bodies the seed of their highest hopes.

Original Art by Flora Bowley


Deanna said...

I, too, am stunned by the idea that anyone seriously believes Trump would be a good president. We attended a Bernie Sanders rally in OKC yesterday and I was cheered by the positivity and good will. Such a contrast between him and Trump.

Wendy said...

Lovely poem, Sarah. I am also concerned, but trying to remain hopeful. Today I was reassured by the funny but informative video of John Oliver's show about Trump and a new CNN poll showing either Democratic hopeful winning against Trump in the general election. I've also donated more money (though not much in the grand scheme of things) this year than ever before to a political campaign. I feel challenged to speak up (and donate) in the face of these crazy people making fools of our political system.

Emily said...

The only good thing that can happen if Trump wins is an eye opening lesson for all of Americans to see how insane our political system has become. I'm hoping the Republican party will feel it the most (karma's a bitch) so they can grow up!