Small But Powerful Things That Are Bringing Us Hope Right Now

There’s power in our ability to join together and stand up against systemic injustice.

Mary981 / Shutterstock
Mary981 / Shutterstock

Amidst the heartache, fear, and anger that have gripped our nation during the past few days, hope for a better future can feel difficult to come by. But even in times that challenge our resilience and strength, there are bright spots to be found — whether it’s people speaking up and refusing to tolerate systemic injustice against the Black community for one minute longer, groups who are organizing to give back to necessary causes, or communities who are banding together to work for a better future.

We asked our Thrive community to share one thing that’s bringing them hope amidst the darkness. Which of these resonates with you right now?

Joining together in solidarity

“I just moved to a new neighborhood last year. It’s idyllic and lovely, but with all the events that have taken place recently, as a Black woman I was developing anxiety just walking around my neighborhood. This weekend, the neighborhood completed a peaceful protest complete with police officers present, taking a knee as a community against racism. I shared how this display of solidarity made me feel as a new member of the community on the neighborhood website. I also shared my growing anxiety about walking. I immediately received an invite from a new neighbor to join me on my walks. These recent actions restored my faith in humanity and gave me hope that change can happen.”

—Joyel Crawford, Haddon Township, NJ

Our readiness to unlearn

“What’s bringing me hope today, strangely, is that so many white people feel hopeless. From there, most naturally seek to learn. By naturally seeking to learn, we will begin to unlearn — to see the systemic racism that so cosily holds us safe whilst crippling Black people — and to challenge it. What’s bringing me hope is that we, white people, are not centering ourselves. We are taking a long hard look in the mirror, shutting our mouths, opening our ears, and recognizing the inherent racism that lives in us all, and recognizing that racism is not always overt. It permeates on all levels and we are finally understanding what white privilege and supremacy looks like.”

—Victoria Murphy, writer, Durham, U.K.

The momentum we’re building

“What brings me relief and eternal hope is my belief that all people are inherently good. I also trust that under today’s unrest there is a strong current of love that is bubbling up from the depths of humanity. There’s a momentum building from people from all walks of life. Keeping this in mind brings me hope.”

—Deb Rosman, author and public speaker, Madison, WI

People who inspire us

“Ericka Hines, an experienced diversity and inclusion consultant, inspires me to want to do better and be braver. Her words — ‘be humble and be ready to fumble’ — are making me hopeful right now. When people of white privilege like me feel like they shouldn’t step up or speak up against racism because they are uncomfortable, or worried they’ll say it or do it wrong, it makes change impossible. Instead, follow Ericka’s advice. I know there is so much more I have to learn about why racism and white privilege carries forward, and Ericka’s message has helped me see that it’s not OK to get overwhelmed and shut down. It’s not OK to revert to staying comfortable and saying nothing because I’m petrified I’ll say the wrong words that will only add to the hurt. She teaches that this is uncomfortable work, but it’s brave work. And right now, more of us need to be brave. She’s taught me that it’s better to take small action than no action.”

—Emily Madill, author and certified professional coach, Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Becoming educated about our privilege 

“As a white person who primarily grew up around other white people, I never really knew my place in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. I think, truthfully, a lot of people don’t know what to say or do to support their Black friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Now, I recognize my privilege and wish I’d been louder before. One of my dear friends has taken on the heavy burden of educating white people on how they can be an ally — something no Black person should have to do. I’m so grateful to her and her courage to create an incredibly important dialogue.”

—Jenna B., public relations, New York, NY

The belief that change will come

“The one thing that’s giving me hope is my heart that hears the pain of my ancestors and community crying out and responding in a way that doesn’t cause further injury. I am committed to connecting in a more meaningful way to help heal from the historical harm that’s transmitted transgenerationally. Methods in which I do this are to honor the power of my voice and the voices of others, write, speak up, and mobilize with those willing to heal justice. As we know, justice is broken, and not just in the system — it’s broken in how humanity devalues people of color with words, dismissive tones, and condescending language that is spoken out loud, to self, and behind closed doors by white and other communities. My heart beats with the hope that I can move mindsets from a place of defensiveness to one of understanding, conviction, and compassionate action. This hope in my heart is in believing that change will come, and I avail myself to be a conduit for one way in which it arrives.”

—LTomay Douglas, adjunct professor, Bronx, NY

Love for each other

“I am inspired by people’s love for each other. I’ve officiated over 1,300 weddings, and even during the economic recession of 2008 and COVID-19, people want to love another. They seek out a love that is beyond just them no matter what hardship befalls them. Big weddings have become small and intimate — and they happen because of this inherent need for love and companionship. To love meaningfully, we need to nourish boundless love and compassion. My hope is that first, we learn to love one person with all our understanding and insight. Then, we expand that love to embrace one another.”

—Dr. Alan Viau, wedding officiant, Ottawa, Canada

Leaders determined to create change

“The person who is bringing me hope during these chaotic and difficult times is the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms. Mayor Bottoms is a Black woman, a mother of four, and a longtime civil servant. She has been vocal and sincere about her obligation to protect the Black citizens of her community from COVID-19, from poverty, and from police brutality. She is honest about her own emotions of anger and frustration regarding the violent protests, and she is unwavering in her response to it. She encourages her constituents to peacefully protest with purpose, and register to vote. Her courage, conviction, and no-nonsense leadership approach brings me solace in these times of uncertainty. She is not afraid to put an opinionated but balanced stake in the ground — one that is in the best interest of the people she serves.”

 —Jennifer Zar, marketing strategist, New York, NY

Knowing that we can learn to do better

“One of my core beliefs is that everything is learnable. What gives me hope during these times is the willingness of so many people around the globe to learn to be better, whether it’s the Black person who is learning to be fearless in telling their story, or the non-Black person who is willing to learn about and face whatever subconscious biases they might have and take a stand for humanity.”

—Asia Esanwa, mindset coach, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

What’s bringing you a sense of hope right now? Let us know in the comments.

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