Despair is Not a Strategy: 15 Principles of Hope
Date Written: 06/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20480
Brockman lists various methods to prevent feelings of cynicism, frustration, and grief for social activists and to inspire renewed hope in their efforts.
There is a difference between our actions being worthless and our actions not accomplishing what we hoped they would. Our actions, no matter how small, register in two ways: externally in the social world and internally towards the cultivation of our character. In the social world, our actions often have a delayed sense of cause-and-effect as they aggregate with the actions of others. This can fool us into thinking our actions failed to accomplish our goal -- like flipping a light switch and the light not going on. But really it's just that social change doesn't work as quickly as electricity so it may take 'the light' a few months (or longer) to turn on. That said, even when it seems that our actions truly haven't had the impact we had hoped for (in the time we hoped it would take), our efforts were not wasted if they contributed to our growth and the fortification and improvement of our moral personhood. The next time you call your legislators, tell yourself that you're calling to influence their actions but also because you want to be the kind of person who gets involved/chooses action over despair/stands up for what you believe is right.