Friday, June 02, 2006

Hope, Beyond Hope, Work

I've always been the one in the family who talks of hope and has hope--- hope that a student will succeed, hope that our American system of public education can transform and change, hope that our ever increasingly violent world can find a way to peace, hope that we can return to a kinder, gentler America.

Today Barbara Ganley's post truly resonated with me; especially the following:

"I have felt myself losing hope these past months that we can effect essential change in education. I have wanted to burrow down into my own practice with blogs and shut out the cacophony. I have faltered even in my own blogging practice during the past month for fear of having nothing positive to say.

And then, a couple of days ago, the latest issue of the provocative American environmental magazine, Orion, helped me see a way out of this mess. Writing about the state of the environment and environmentalism, Derrick Jensen writes in the lead article, "“Beyond Hope" :
"Frankly, I don't have much hope. But I think that a’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth. To start, there is the false hope that suddenly somehow the system may inexplicably change. Or technology will save us. Or the Great Mother…All these false hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities… When we realize the degree of agency we actually do have, we no longer have to hope at all. We simply do the work."

He'’s right, of course. I have to stop hoping that anything can change; instead I must go about getting the work done. Inside. Where it counts."
And I realized that although I have never stopped hoping, that's what I have always tried to do--get the work done. I am thinking that she has articulated something that lives deep inside me, that I never could have put in words. And now that I have read and reread her words, I think that recognizing "beyond hope" will cause me to work even more passionately----

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