I am a fan of podcasts. I love them because they provide these sips of encouragement or learning in less than 60 minute segments. I have been a of the podcast We Live Here (shouts to NPR!) for over a year. While being quarantined, have been catching up on my reading and all my favorite podcasts. With this particular theme for this month, with the heaviness of working in healthcare, and the burden for activism–quarantine is hard. Yet on this episode of We Live Here (July 17, 2020 episode) an heard this quote from Dr. Kira Banks:
“Hope is a discipline.”
I sat up straighter in my chair, and had to catch my breath!
I began to repeat it. Hope is a discipline. This quote was first said by Beverly Daniel Tatum, the author of Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? I had not thought about this before, and still am chewing on it now! For anything to be a discipline, you have to do it often. You have to be do it when no one is watching. You have to do it when you are the only one that believes something can happen! Hope is a muscle!
It is hope that is the perpetual fuel for activism. It is hope that emboldens us to act! It is hope that allows us to use the weapons give to us (law, policy, education, numbers) to fight! Hope is not for the week or undisciplined! In this month that has been so hectic, in a year that has been birthed in chaos, among the plantation of MAGA worshipers, it has been hard to have hope! It has been hard to believe something will change, and it would be easier to give up! It is and becomes easier to tell yourself, “Nothing is going to change. I’m not going to do anything.”
Think about this!
You believe nothing will happen, so you do nothing. This thinking is a self-fulfilling prophesy! So if you believe nothing will happen, so you do nothing–by logic, if you believe something will happen, and you do something–something will happen!
Activism, my dear ones, is having the belief that something will happen and doing it! Why? You believe that it will!
If you take nothing away from today, remember to hope.
It does not make you foolish to hope.
It does not make you soft to hope.
It does to not make you silly to hope.
A torch is not apathetic when it comes to its light, heat or smoke! It is definite! To be apathetic is to give up! A torch, by its nature does not give up! It’s not its nature to give up.
Since this is a space for Torches, hope is what we use to keep out fire hot and light bright.
Hope to fight and fight to hope!
We cannot, will not, have no reason or space to give up!