‘To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.’ Howard Zinn

(image from godwalkedintothisbar.blogspot.com)

18 thoughts on “HOPEFUL IN BAD TIMES

  1. This reminds me of a prayer attributed to Mother Teresa, believed to be based on a thing by Dr Kent M Keith possibly. This is the version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta and I find it really inspiring:

    People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
    Be honest and sincere anyway.

    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
    Create anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
    Do good anyway.

    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
    Give your best anyway.

    In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
    It was never between you and them anyway.

    -this version is credited to Mother Teresa



  2. This is wonderful, it is easy to get carried away and dragged down by the negative things happening in this world, but as said here, each kind little act adds up and does make such a difference, ripples spread, even if we just smile at a stranger, or let a car in we can affect others.xxx


  3. As Murph says, if we all do a little, it does add up 😀
    It’s funny how some people choose to remember the good and others remember the bad


  4. Let’s not sit around and fret,
    Or feel beset,
    Let’s get set,
    Go all out to help one another without hindrance or let,
    Each one of us in some small measure can act as a safety net,
    And the good Lord will crown us in glory with a golden beret.


    1. We are so conditioned to thinking only about bad and negative things, because that’s what fills our media. We need to remember consciously that there are many good and encouraging things in human history, too.


      1. So they would have us believe, but they don’t count the hordes of people switching off or not buying newspapers because it is all so depressing.


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