Though there is darkness present in the world, most still gravitate to some residual, jaded image of hope Even in a very postmodern and post-evangelical society, people are generally still in agreement on one thing: hope. Hope keeps us moving forward, working, and providing. It is the sun over the horizon, the light at the end of the tunnel, the grand finale in the fireworks show, or the epic showdown in the final moments of the film. This exists across racial, ethic, religious and political lines. People are drawn towards a better way. It is simply a self-evident conclusion. While there remains historical resentment for events that have happened in the past (and rightly deserving of proper apologies), there is a greater need to move past things that preserve bitter hostility and relational distancing and silent treatments. It stands to reason that a new generation should discuss the harsh disagreements of past generations with neighboring religious and ethic neighbors to determine if they actually are still relevant. Whether or not new agreements can be reached, the respectful and genuine apology of past wrongs always has a strong reconciliatory affect, and should never be trivialized.
Despite the growing perception of darkness in our world, much of this is self-reinforced. Consider the historical events and their implications that our elders have taught us are present for. The information given us by those close to us generally tend to have the greatest psychological impact on our worldview, lifestyle and outlook. Is it possible that many of the beliefs carried by so many today are simply preserved and carried on because of love or reverence for those that dutifully taught them to us? Why are walls of resentment preserved if they are sources of stress and strain in our society (and subtly on our individual lives)? Is there a place for rekindling the questions asked of the prior generation in our current one that could correctly ascertain where we ourselves stand on the issues that have separated us as a society? Though officially, segregation is no-longer official, it is still evident outside mainstream circle and on the minor decisions people make in life. Theological disagreements (at least in the Christian church) still proceed on even though they are considered “non-essential”. And now the economic strata has separated good people from authentically connecting with each other (often a self-perpetuating cycle stemming other personality categorization).
Hope is something that may seem very indistinct and intangible, and yet, it is a warm component in our lives that lingers somewhere to keep us getting up in the morning, putting in the long work hours, risking our time and energy in new relationships, and initiating new business initiatives or organizational movements. While it may not always look cheerful, it is an indispensable part of every living, breathing person. Without hope, what motivation is there to continue on? It is my perspective that it is often taken for granted that we have some motivational component in our lives that keep us going. What is your motivation? How much will you let hope move you to a better place?