Yesterday, I suggested we consider the concept of lost hope. I turn on the TV and watch what is happening in Baltimore and at first find myself asking like the preacher in the movie “The Big Chill” — “Where did our hope go?”
Yet, you listen to the people being interviewed and all the experts and pundits talk and they still talk in terms of hope. At least hope that things will change. The difference being is that different people are searching for and have hope for in different places. Some search for hope from government. Some search for hope from community leaders. Some seek hope from the goodness of their neighbors, and unfortunately some see hope only in violence and destruction, believing that through violence things might change. Maybe we are all looking in the wrong place for hope.
Being a lawyer I am also puzzled by similar cries for “justice.” I watched at the funeral the minister say in a loud voice that the community demands “justice.” Similar words are being used in other parts of the country where racial strife, terrorism, or violence seems to be tearing away the fabric of communities. I hear the cries for justice, but justice has a different meaning to different people. Maybe we are all looking for Justice in the wrong place. Maybe our duty is to fight injustice, not demanding justice.
Where do the answers lie, lots of questions and not many answers. Questions are easy, answers are tough (unless you are playing Jeopardy).
One answer, not a very easy one to hear, is that the solution, that hope, that justice, lies with all of us, but if we are not involved we aren’t helping. We need to look for Hope and Justice with God and in our heart, and then act on it. If our leaders and more importantly ourselves think solutions can be found in task forces, dialogues, and research papers we will still be having the same discussions we did 50 years ago, we have today, and we will have 50 years from now. It is up to each and every one of us to find a way to help and act on it, not tomorrow, not next week, and not next year but now.
A good place to begin is with the churches, synagogues, and mosques of Baltimore, DC, Charlotte, or LR. The light shines brightest there. The seeds of hope will be nurtured best there. We all have different skills and gifts from God. Consider how your skills, your gifts, can be used to benefit humankind.
Hope hasn’t gone anywhere, it resides in our heart and in God.