The rollercoaster of the past few years has left even the most optimistic among us struggling to feel hopeful from time to time. Though it seems that crises come one after another these days and the future appears uncertain, if you look carefully, you’ll find a number of reasons, big and small, to have hope.
People Are Still Smiling
One of my favorite pastimes is taking a walk on one of the many local boardwalks near my coastal town. There’s nothing like ocean air to lift your spirits and give you perspective.
What also gives me perspective along those walks is the parade of friendly and smiling people I pass as I stroll up and down. “Good morning,” they say over and over or, “There was a pod of dolphins just a ways back. Take a look,” or “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” Almost all of them greet you with a smile. You can feel a collective sense of gratitude and appreciation for the surrounding beauty and the day at hand.
In addition, I’ve found that when you look for smiling faces, you find them everywhere. They’re at the gas station, at the store, at the park, on the street—everywhere. It helps if you’re one of them, I suppose.
Smiling faces are contagious, compassionate, calm, and hopeful. It’s not all doom and gloom; look around.
Families Are Strong
Though they may not have anticipated setting up an office in their dining room or a school in their kitchen, many families have ridden this storm together. It hasn’t been easy, of course, but for many, it has been both a bonding experience and an eye-opening one.
Though stressed about world events and whatever specific difficulties this time has challenged them with, many families were able to make their home a refuge. They enjoyed quality family time in quantities they wouldn’t have thought possible before.
Further, many have reevaluated the places they live, the ways they spend their time, the careers they’re in, the education their children are receiving, the values they hold dear, and more. They’ve learned that they have more options than they realized and their priorities have become clearer.
The family is the very backbone of society, and I believe many families are stronger today than they’ve been in a long time.
History Is Being Studied
Perhaps it’s the rise in homeschooling or the historic nature of current events, but more and more people seem to be interested in learning the history that they perhaps never truly learned in school. The study of the U.S. Constitution and the founding of America is popular, as is the history of communism and the major world events that shaped the 20th century.
A more informed populace is a hopeful prospect for sure.
Freedom Is Valued
In normal times, perhaps some of us took our basic personal freedoms for granted. With many of those freedoms under threat in different parts of the world to differing degrees, the value of freedom has made its way to center stage, and the implications of restricting freedoms are becoming clear to more and more folks.
Spirituality Is on the Rise
When times get tough, when life is difficult to understand, and when circumstances feel out of one’s control, it’s natural to take a step back and seek higher wisdom. Many people have embarked on a spiritual journey during this time. In this, there’s hope.
The Sun Still Rises
I’m an early riser. One of my favorite parts of waking before the sun is bearing witness to the slow beauty of each morning’s sunrise. The dark of night gives way to a gradual light, a scheme of colors unique to each day, accompanied by the celebratory sounds of the birds’ morning chorus.
It’s a reminder that life presses on and the Earth continues to revolve around the sun uninterrupted and exactly on time. It makes worry seem futile in the grand scheme of things. Each day is a gift and an opportunity—a fresh start, full of hope.