Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
– Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
In light of recent events, I’ve seen friends and strangers questioning the responsibility of bringing a child into the world. As a woman and a parent, my heart breaks a little every time I see these statements, knowing the fears every parent faces are unavoidable in the best of circumstances, but also knowing in life there can be no reward or growth, without risk. And there is a deeper question, how do any of us exist in this environment? This is my answer to you.
Watching the news, reading the editorial section of the newspaper, following friends and celebrities and politicians on social media, seeing opinions that should be kept to oneself or more importantly, not be thought of at all; all of it has been so… overwhelming. Disappointing. Surreal and nearly unbelievable. Except they are, because people I know wrote those statements, supported them, rejoiced them. Learning that in 2017, the depth of ignorance, discrimination, violence, fear and outright hatred, living in America is hard for me to accept. I never imagined that I would see a Nazi flag flown in public and not be condemned. I think that moment almost broke me. But I am a warrior. Watching violence erupt out of nothingness or madness leaves me feeling powerless. But not hopeless.
Believe me when I tell you that each generation had societal struggles and faced many of the same questions that struggle with today. How can I bring life into the world knowing there is strife, that there are bad people in this world? But, I think of ancient times and what it was like to rise up against monarchy and dictators and live through war ravaged homelands, plagues and natural disasters. We’re read history books and know that change happened because of those moments. What if humanity stopped pressing forward? Would we have the Renaissance, the Roaring 20’s, the Space Age? The 80’s are regarded as a hey day of Yuppies and Wall Street, hair bands and Wham! but I was there and adults were freaking out about the Berlin Wall, Communism, death metal and latch key kids. People were saying, “I’d hate to have to raise kids these days.”
Fast forward to now, it can be hard to find meaning in it all, when there are so many faceless people behind keyboards, and plenty of others cowering among mob mentality, promoting these agendas under the guise of freedom. It is frightening in a way that has affected me to the core. And I don’t mind sharing my emotions when I tell you that I have actually cried – multiple times, and not just election day my friends, I have outright sobbed to inconsolability, mourning for the humanity I thought we were becoming. This is not the America that I know. But, I have hope. There is always hope. And here is why. And this is not only about babies. This is about us and our will to fight.
I know hope, because of hope itself. And the way that the mountains fold into each other and man’s discovery of electricity and the coming of spring and the sound of my name learned by a new friend as they wave me goodbye.
Because it is our duty in the unknowable scheme of the universe to become more, to do better, to inspire others. We have a greater purpose. To exist. To play. To teach and inspire. To learn. To touch and heal and comfort. To share and carry and unload. To hurt. To suffer. To overcome. To know peace. To evolve. To Become.
To love. To love. To love.
Hope is the reason, why life, is the only answer. And while there are events that make us question why we exist, there are far many more moments that inspire us to persist.