How Do We Find Hope?

Congratulations if you have read this far and not remained in permanent denial and retreat. As stated in the following excerpt from Noam Chomsky, the chances that the human species will survive another century is not very high. Roger Hallam says we’re fucked, the only questions are how much and how soon. Here is where we find hope. This situation is never all or nothing. Our actions can always make a difference. We always have hope of helping others.

One of the organizations that I work with is Colombia Support Network. On one delegation to Colombia, our co-founder, Cecilia Zarate was in a meeting on the 5th floor of a building when they heard automatic gun fire below. The doorman came up and told them that the person that they were waiting for was just killed when he arrived. Someone asked who is going to take his place … and someone volunteered.

Since escaping my corporate cubical in 2012, I have had the opportunity to join various communities in their struggles, some horrific for decades or centuries. It would be laughable, if, as a white, professional, male from the United Stated, I complained about hope. Get out and join others in action. It is a cure for depression and a source of hope.

GLOBAL DISCONTENTS – Conversations on the Rising Threats to Democracy

2017 By Noam Chomsky

[page 90]

What gives you hope? People who are dedicated, who are struggling, often against really tremendous odds—not like us—to create decent spaces for existence and a better world. That’s my source of hope.

You’re inevitably asked in interviews, What gives you hope?

People who are dedicated, who are struggling, often against really tremendous odds—not like us—to create decent spaces for existence and a better world. That’s my source of hope.

How important is solidarity and cooperation?

Without it, there is nothing. Individually, in an atomized society, you can do virtually nothing. You can ride a bicycle instead of driving, say, but that’s kind of like chipping away at a mountain with a toothpick. If anything is going to happen, it is going to be through mutual aid, solidarity, community, and a collective commitment to really making changes. That’s always been the case in the past, and there’s no reason to think it will be different in the future.

[page 175]

MAN: Did you go through a phase of hopelessness, or . . .

Yeah, every evening.

MAN: I feel like I’m kind of stuck in one.

Every evening. I mean, look: if you want to feel hopeless, there are a lot of things you could feel hopeless about. If you want to sort of work out objectively what’s the chance that the human species will survive for another century, probably not very high. But I mean, what’s the point?

MAN: You’ve just got to work at it.

If you act on the assumption that things can change, well, maybe they will. Okay, the only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget the pessimism.

Yeah, what’s the point? First of all, those predictions don’t mean anything—they’re more just a reflection of your mood or your personality than anything else. And if you act on that assumption, then you’re guaranteeing that that’ll happen. If you act on the assumption that things can change, well, maybe they will. Okay, the only rational choice, given those alternatives, is to forget the pessimism.