It’s November 7, the day before Election Day 2016. I voted yesterday, just a couple of days early – Ohio is a state that allows early voting. I’ve saved my voting sticker to wear tomorrow though.
If you’d like to hear my thoughts about this year’s campaign and candidates, let’s get together and talk about them over an appropriate beverage.
What my attention has been increasingly drawn toward during the past couple of months is what starts on November 9. Regardless of who wins tomorrow, we have a hard road ahead to heal ourselves, our communities, and our country. Fear underlies so much of what we’ve been seeing, hearing, and experiencing leading up to this election. As families, communities, and country, we have a need to acknowledge our fears and share them with others – so we can move toward personal and communal freedom.
In looking at our present condition and thinking about the road ahead, the word “Hope” has become more important – and solidified – for me. This began in September while I was listening to an interview on the Longform Podcast with guest Krista Tippet, journalist, author, and host of the “On Being” public radio show and podcast. (Phew.) Krista talked about Hope and how she understands it. She differentiates Hope from optimism which “is like wishful thinking, like ‘we hope it will all turn out OK'”. She continues:
I think of Hope as something that is reality based, that is taking in the fullness of reality, that has nothing to do with wishful thinking, and that it’s kind of muscular. And I think, like any other virtue, it’s a choice.
Krista writes about hope and reality in her latest book*, saying “[Hope] references reality at every turn and reveres truth. It lives open eyed and wholehearted with the darkness that is woven ineluctably** into the light of life and sometimes seems to overcome it…It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.” (p. 233)
Hope is a virtue we can choose. Hope gives me a fuller understanding of how to live in this place and time.
What starts on November 9?
We all have this work that belongs to all of us, kind of re-knitting the fabric of common life, figuring out what common life means in the 21st Century, which I think is part of all the disarray right now…We don’t know what it looks like, and it’s partly digital. But we have to figure it out. The politicians, the president is not going to figure it out for us, even if it was the greatest president we could imagine.” (Krista Tippet, Longform Podcast interview)
I choose Hope for us, and what we can begin together on November 9.
* Krista’s new book is “Becoming Wise: An inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living“. I’ve bought 2 copies so far.
** def: not able to be avoided or changed – I looked it up.