Monday, March 21, 2016

Hope as a basis for dialogue?

Yesterday a friend remarked that he was surprised at my outspoken activism re. the current South African political dynamics. My response was that my grandchildren should one day know for sure that I spoke out when we were in danger of slipping away from the values that our struggle was about. I'm doing it for their future. For me dialogue is, among other things, about keeping hope alive in a sea of negativity and pessimism.

Another friend admonished me recently when I expressed the hope that the publication of the report about the Walter Rodney assassination in Guyana would open up new dialogue. He said "hope is not a strategy". He was right, hope is not a strategy, but without hope no strategy will be pursued with energy. Hope is the beginning of a strategy.

Rebecca Solnit writes
"’s important to emphasize that hope is only a beginning; it’s not a substitute for action, only a basis for it...Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes — you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone."
I refuse to let go of hope and when I die one day, my hope will live on in my children and grandchildren. We are all children of hope.

No comments: