Despair is an energy, a negative energy that is born of the stuff that can rattle around in our heads, unchecked. Despair’s the sour fruit of the cranky stories we often tell ourselves, the bad-tempered tales we can inflict on others.
We live and die by the stories we tell—inside our heads and outside our bodies.
“The destiny of the world,” Shakespeare scholar, Harold Goddard tells us, “is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories [we] love and believe in.”
Today, we’ve gathered in this circles, not to wring our hands or shake our heads or pound our fists and inflict our despair on others.
No, we’ve gathered together to stir ourselves, to wake up, to find some traction. Whether we realize it or not, we’ve gathered together to tell ourselves stories, ordinary stories that come from ordinary people—stories that can become the source of our hope . . . our creative, courageous action on behalf of the wellbeing of our world.
“Hope,” says Rebecca Solnit (who is for me a contemporary writer and dissident whose voice is on par with the voice of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, that feisty Russian dissent who challenged the Soviet behemoth in the second half of the last century)—