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“Hope needs help.” If you follow our work and our content, it’s a phrase you know we discuss often. Not only does Plenty believe it to be true, but we also live by it. Each of us wears the title of “idealist” proudly. We are bold in our belief of what’s possible, and unrelenting in our efforts to bring about the greatest possible good in the world because we envision a world in which there is plenty for everybody.
This is no moral victory for us; the language alone is not sufficient. Our vision comes to life through the active and dogged, daily pursuit of a better world. The world where cancer no longer exists, where hunger and poverty no longer dictate one’s wellbeing, and where war no longer breathes. This is what hope is all about.Still, I’ll be the first to admit, in a spirit of authenticity and vulnerability, that there are days when hope feels hopeless. These are days when the violence becomes irrepressible, and the noises all around us grow too loud. Over the course of these last two or three months, I’ve witnessed all of us here at Plenty – in some form or another – pained and disheartened by the violence taking place all around us. In the current state of the world, many are scared, hurt, confused.
Hope is not lost... but at times, it does become harder to find and to keep. If I'm honest, this protracted violence has a tendency of hardening me, as if skin calloused from a lifetime of lacerations. Sometimes it strips me of the tenderness I’ve fought so hard to call my own. My joy doesn't always shine so bright, and the smiles don’t come so easily. On days like these, I do my best not to counter hope, but to spur the introspective process that allows me to rediscover it, and to reacquaint myself with its touch. This is a process of planting seeds, and reminding myself of one sacred truth: Our hope is innate.
Did you know it is scientifically proven that emotion, as expressed by the human heart, is physical? We literally emit powerful electromagnetic fields that are tangible and measurable, felt by all around us. Studies have proven that compassion and cooperation are humanity’s most innate instincts, and sympathy our most visceral emotional capacity.
A few days following the violence in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas, my girlfriend and I attended the wedding of a peer and friend in the philanthropy space. In what had been one of my darkest weeks on memory, I was encouraged that weekend, by the simplicity of beauty and reminded once again of the true potency of love. Engrossing myself in these positive vibrations, I turned to her and requested, with a heavy heart, "Don't let me lose myself. Don't let me lose my hope.” When I ponder long and hard on this fact, I am reminded that hope is not just a feeling – not just some fleeting prayer for better days. Hope is our instinct. It is our human foundation, the very fabric of who we are, and what we were made for. Harmony is our collective destiny. Though bad things will always happen, we authentically believe that we’re capable of the world in which there is plenty for everyone. Alas, there is beauty abound!
As you find a way to heal — be it from the violence against your being, the violence around the world, or the violence in your own heart — my wish for you, now and always, is that you keep beauty somewhere in your line of sight. Remember, hope needs help, and there is so much yet to do. May we move forward, together, and build ourselves a more hopeful world.