The Work of Hope
In times of great stress, the word hope falls off our tongue with more frequency. We hope things will get better. Hope is positive and uplifting. “Rising sun energy” as a great Tibetan teacher once termed it. Emily Dickinson wrote in a poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul.” It is often in community and collective action where hope takes shape and form. Culturally and politically speaking too many of us are disengaged and isolated. That’s not true everywhere. Take France for example, a country with 60 million people, one fifth of the population of the United States. In France, more than 3 million people have organized and demonstrated against threatened cuts in jobs and benefits while in the U.S. the level of citizen passivity in the face of economic injustice is astonishing. Have people lost hope?
Francis Moore Lappe is the author of the classic Diet for a Small Planet, which has sold millions of copies. She is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the Alternative Nobel Prize. She is a founder of the Small Planet Institute.