“… And the world will live as one.”

I ended up waiting at a traffic light behind a car with South Carolina plates, and on those plates I read one of the state mottos: While I breathe, I hope. I’d come across that notion in Latin classes, “Dum spiro, spero,” and the sentiment strikes me as something Lord Julian might find useful.

And yet, real hope takes more than breath. Way, way back in my Conflict Transformation program, we learned that hope has been studied by the learned folk who apply for grants. They found that hope cannot be sustained for long without some tangible, observable hints that optimism is justified. Canaries can sing in dark, dusty coal mines, only if a healthy quantity of oxygen is available to them.

To sustain hope, we need two things: Imagination and a sliver of reality-based encouragement. So what, in these trying times, did I see that gave me hope this week? (Besides crocuses!)

The quick lube place I go to is notable for the upbeat and courteous attitude of its staff. Those people act glad to see every customer, and they go about their tasks with alacrity. Somebody dipped them all in the True Elixir of Customer Service, which is lovely in itself. This week, though, I also noticed that half the staff is female. As the first girl to take auto mechanics in my county school system (half a century ago), that sight just warmed the cockles of my float-bowl vent valve.

I have also been tremendously encouraged by time spent with a pair of great-nephews, ages four and two-and-a-half. We hear perpetually that kids today are screen-addicted, they have no imaginations, they can’t hold a conversation if they can text instead, they are physically unfit, they are struggling with post-pandemic everything. Kids are just a mess.

Not these two little guys. They are capable of HOURS of imaginative play. Pirates and dragon-hunters and Lego dragons on the Lego police force, and Play-dough, and on and on. They are perpetual motion machines, and screens in their lives are a controlled rarity permitted only if a parent is watching the same screen. I doubt my great-nephews are all that unusual in having digital native parents who do a better job of managing the various “boob tubes” than the previous generation did. When I hunt a few dragons with these boys, I am filled with optimism (we’re going to make friends with the dragons rather than eat them, according to the expedition leader).

The kids–some kids–are all right.

What else gives me hope, right before my very eyes? The town where I do most of my grocery shopping, two valleys over, has banned single use plastic bags. I realize bans have downsides (people do buy more heavy plastic garbage bags, for example, and those have a larger carbon footprint than the flimsy bags). Yeah-buts notwithstanding, the jurisdiction I refer to is far from progressive. Any regulatory step taken there suggests public concern for the planet, and that’s a good thing. If they can agree to a green step forward one county over…

So I see around me evidence that says hope is justified, though I had to give the whole question of what’s hopeful here and now a think. Maybe in addition to listing five gratitudes every night, I should also start listing some reason to hope.

What has given you hope?

PS: Print version of A Gentleman in Search of Truth now available.





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12 comments on ““… And the world will live as one.”

  1. Pingback: Here There Be Dragons!!!! | Grace Burrowes | I believe in love.

  2. See the rain comin’ down and the roof won’t hold ‘er
    Lost my job and I feel a little older
    Car won’t run and our love’s grown colder
    But things’ll be a little better, in the mornin
    Things’ll be a little better

    Hoyt Axton as modified by me

  3. The sun rises a little bit earlier now. I can start my day after Greg and Laci go out & have breakfast. We had nice weather this weekend and both dogs were bathed… early sunrise and warm weather give me hope that Spring is on the way.

    Counting down my chemo appointments-3 more to go- that gives me hope that another piece of treatment will be over.

    I will miss my team of doctors and nurses —they have showed such compassion and kindness towards me – I am beyond grateful to them – but I need to move forward.
    When you are diagnosed with cancer- it’s emotionally overwhelming I have tried to hope for the best.
    Hope is a powerful word to me!

  4. “Dum Spiro, Spero” has been the tagline on my email address for more than a year. Hope is available to everyone, no matter what the situation. I find that if you focus on a problem with hope, solutions do come.

  5. 3 new grandbabies arriving this spring/summer. ”Babies are proof that God wants the world to go on”. I don’t know who to attribute that quote to, but it’s a good one.

  6. What gives me hope in this crazy, upside down world? My grandchildren, especially my 13 year old grandson. He is becoming such an empathetic young man. His Mom told us of how he reported a child on his bus who was verbally bullying another child. Rather than escalate the situation by immediately jumping in, he wisely observed, then went to the administration and reported what he’d seen. Standing up for another kid, but intelligent enough to not escalate, made me proud. In today’s world, escalation frequently turns to violence, so I believe he made the correct decision. My granddaughter is only 10 so still at an age when she is involved with her own pursuits, but she is becoming an awesome young person as well. These children are our future and I believe the future will be in good hands. Stay safe. Stay well everyone!

  7. Thinking of my first cup of coffee in the morning, gives me a very hopeful start to my day. Sharing a good cup of coffee with my friends as we paint watercolors, going home to a cozy house , greeted by my 2 ever hopeful capuppies,
    Gives me hope, comfort and pleasure. 🙂

  8. I’m in awe of those long gone Latin speakers, who always seemed to string together such incredible one-liners that have lived on through the ages. How come they were so gifted with creating wise and succinct pieces of advice, to help the hapless humans carry on? Or is it just that those nuggets just sound better when translated into Latin, whether by a 15th century monk or an 18th century journalist? ‘Dum spiro, spero’ is a new one for me but I love it. Because without hope, our struggles would threaten to consume us. Every night brings a dawn and though it might not always be exactly what we want, there will be a light to greet us. I try to find the positive in moments of sadness, loss, pain, and frustration and while I’m not always successful, for me, it’s essential.

  9. What gives me hope? After 10 back surgeries (Not kidding. Critical Care nurses’ back syndrome…) I’m finally fairly pain free, walking pretty well and people are noticing. My muse has come back and is sitting right on my shoulder as I get involved with my crafting again. The huge Nor’easter that was to dump 8-12″ of snow on us here in NEPA last night dropped nary a flake– which makes me hope that Punxsutawney Phil got it right this year and spring is coming. Yep. Today is a good day to have a good day!

  10. So frustrating. Since I bought the latest Lord Julian book from your website, I cannot leave a review. Will try with Goodreads. Enjoyed this latest episode. Keep writing please!