Recently, while visiting with a friend, we got to talking about one of the lessons she’d taken from church about hope. She talked about a fiery hope, one ignited by anger, one that fuels action. Hope is anger and action. This definition definitely sums up my motivation for civic actions.
When I sat down to write this week’s blog I looked up my friend’s resources so I could credit the right sources:
“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” (Augustine of Hippo)
While listing to Democracy Now’s recent report on Jamal Khashoggi I was moved to tears and anger. The report spoke of his pending wedding, the US State Department’s possible advance knowledge, the premeditation involved, and some of the details of his torturous death. It said loudly and clearly that this man was human, and other humans had the opportunity to potentially save his life.
As I reflected on how brutal human beings can be I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around President Trump’s words:
“I would not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion—which is an all-time record—and letting Russia have that money and letting China have that money, because all they’re going to do is say, ‘That’s OK. We don’t have to buy it from Boeing. We don’t have to buy it from Lockheed. We don’t have to buy it from Raytheon and all these great companies. We’ll buy it from Russian.’”
When I felt I had mulled it all over, I went downstairs to chat with my Mother-in-Law about her retirement investments. I implored her to think about the stocks she supports and the consequence of reaching great profits at the expense of life itself. I cited Trump’s words about profit driven choice. I shared my sadness over the detachment of human choice from human consequence in a global economy.
Our conversation was not public, nor planned, but it was undoubtedly hopeful. I trust my persistence to stay informed will remain coupled with the commitment to act on such life-threatening and pertinent information. I hope my commitments radiate a yearning for justice so brightly that they attract others to connect their thoughts and actions similarly.
Do you have hope? What actions are you willing to take? Can your anger (or sadness) guide your action? If Jamal Khashoggi was your father, son or brother would you consider different actions? Can you translate those feelings to simply knowing he was a fellow human being?