HOLDING ONTO HOPE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES WITH RADICAL OPTIMISM
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Now is a time where we all must be vigilantly aware. Aware of the climate of our society while at the same time practicing radical optimism. Being an optimist isn’t burying your head in the sand in hopes to come up when there is better weather. In my opinion healthy optimism is acknowledging problems and distress, finding a road to a solution, and being content with how we move forward.
When I witnessed the storming of the Capitol, I wasn’t surprised, but I was extremely disheartened. As a black woman in America (I hope by the way I can one day see a world where that isn’t relevant), I understood what these actions represented. They represented a group of people who feel their last shred of relevance is directly tied to their identity as a fading powerful majority. There is a dark sadness in that sort of existence and I’m grateful to possess an ignorance to that darkness. So what do we do when the Capitol of our being has been ransacked, stormed, and desecrated? We fight on.
The great Martin Luther King said,
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means keep moving.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Despite all the negativity, loss, and despair we must keep moving. We find a way forward that benefits the collective and longevity of our society and we practice what I call the three R’s. Radical change, Radical growth, and Radical optimism.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
No one really knows who said the above quote and it’s often attributed to Albert Einstein, but that doesn’t make the quote any less true. We can’t expect things to get better if we continue to plant seeds of the same fruitless ideas and narratives that are outdated.
When we are unhappy in our lives, we must seek a way to make change. Change is not easy. It takes work to think and live outside of societal confinements. When we radically change our thinking, we have the ability to change our environment.
It’s not enough to make a change. We have to continuously educate ourselves. This world is ever-evolving through a painful growth that ultimately propels us closer to our collective greatness. Growth is knowing that you must be a life learner. The singer and songwriter, Jhene Aiko says, “The more that I see, the more that I know, that I don’t know anything at all.” Knowing this truth is growth in itself. When I realized this truth, I was excited to learn and grow with the evolution of the world instead of against it.
We have to search and seek out the good in our existence and in humanity. At first when the Capitol riots happened, I admittedly checked out mentally for a few days. Then, I realized that I can be aware of the tragedies, but also inspire change by remembering the good in the world. I had to remember that we are a country and a world who over time has faced great tragedy and pain; however, despite it all, humanity has always found a way to persevere. We will repair the Capitol and the Capitol of our beings will be restored with radical optimism and most of all, radical love.