Hope has been in short supply lately — the murder of a diplomat in Libya, the ongoing savagery in Syria,
In the midst of my melancholy over these and other troubles, I had decided — with very mixed feelings — to remove my yellow "Support a cure" bracelet.
But then I noticed another bracelet I'd been wearing for years but pretty much forgotten about: a purple one with the word "Hope." The word hit me like a lightening flash. There was, in fact, much to be hopeful about, for me personally and the rest of humanity.
Freedom and democracy are advancing on the globe, albeit gradually. Scourges such as
Yes, you can either sing
A few years ago, after giving a lecture on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I was discussing the issue with a sensitive, idealistic student. I told her I might not live to see a peace agreement between the two peoples. Tears immediately welled up in her eyes and I was struck by the power of my momentary pessimism. I am, in fact, optimistic that peace will come, though we have miles to go before it arrives.
The Jewish community is in the midst of the "
Hope promotes courage and perseverance, imagination and creativity, thinking the best of others and of yourself rather than the worst. It is an elixir for the natural shocks of life and the seemingly endless propensity of human beings to live in conflict.
Hope is a choice to take positive action, for example by resisting bigotry or starting a grass-roots movement for social betterment or — in this season of self-examination — by reaching out to someone you are estranged from and healing hearts.
If not today, when?