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Creating Communities of Connectedness and Hope

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Among the solutions revealed are a number of common sense actions that individuals can take in their daily lives. These include “reducing, re-using, recycling, repairing, and sharing: all over the world, 10 million tons of waste are thrown away every day. Landfill sites, rivers, forests, oceans are saturated with the western countries waste. In Africa, entire cities are clogged up with old computers, TVs, vehicles we don’t use any more; waters and soils are polluted, children are poisoned… We throw away a third of the food we produce. At the same time, the bulk of natural resource is running out. Recycling creates 10 times more jobs than burning. Sharing things rather than owning them would allow us to reduce tremendously our needs in raw materials.” More information about other simple solutions and the substantial reasons for them is on their website. I strongly encourage you to discover more about the people and communities featured in the film as it’s a source of tremendous hope in the face of despair.

I also recommend the book, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit who “calls on us to act in a world whose future remains unknowable … [towards] transformative victories.” Action, communication, creating stronger connections with other actors, forming communities of action, and maintaining a hopeful attitude are the foundations for creating important and substantial change. And sometimes it just takes a glimpse of the courage, tenacity and action of others to help one stop cursing the darkness and lighting an optimistic candle instead.

A friend of mine who lives in the U.S. told me about a civil rights rally that was held in Washington DC on January 14th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and in response to the US presidential election. It was a cold, rainy day; there were no A-list activist or entertainment celebrities participating; and only about 1,000 people turned out. But the rally was cablecast in its entirety on C-SPAN. My friend, who is among those overcome by the darkness and feeling defeated by the election, watched all of it and said it cheered and inspired her.

The speakers, both young and older activists in civil, women’s, immigrants, LGBT, labor, and other rights, spoke passionately about going back home, getting together with others, and fighting the good fight for fulsome freedom and democracy and addressing the practicalities of poverty, legal justice, health care, education, voting rights, and more. The Howard University Gospel Choir sang This Little Light of Mine (those candles shining) and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around. She was reminded of what she fought for during her youth in the ‘60s and ‘70s and began to think about what her little light could be now. She’s older and tired and not in the best of health. But neither were many of those standing and singing in the rain. One of the slogans of the event was “We’re all in this together.” And we certainly are.

There’s a place – and a candle – for everyone who wants it.

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One Comment

  1. Prof. Jagdish Khatri

    February 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Congratulations and thanks for such a nice article! It’s time we intellectuals and professionals realize our utmost duty to work together for creating a connected global society. Recent tendencies of rising intolerance, impatience among vast populations, inequality, authoritarianism etc. are a threat to civilized society. We must light our own small candles to sum up into a big light!

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