“Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing — but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears.”–Lu Xun
If we focus only on the immensity of the problems the world faces we can become paralyzed by a sense of futility. We may wish we could shout “wake up, people,” and watch everyone fall into lockstep and build a healthy future. But it doesn’t work that way. Many people will disagree with our diagnosis; some will even ridicule us for accepting as truth what they see as preposterous.
And so while some of us must continue to shout “wake up, people,” what is needed even more is for us to live out our daily lives in a spiritually healthy manner, one step at a time. As more people do this, the path will appear more obvious to larger numbers of people. Intrigued by the path and attracted by the distant open horizon to which it leads, more will walk it.
If enough do this in a timely fashion, the future will change for the better, and what currently seems impossible will become inevitable. To be among those who begin the path–who walk toward that distant horizon when the landscape still seems bleak and stormy and the way precarious–is to practice hope.
Hope belongs to the gold portion of the singing wilderness spiritual map.