Monday, September 18, 2017

Radical Hope is Our Best Weapon

I was inspired once again by listening to On Being yesterday (here). This time it was Krista Tippet's interview with Junot Diaz, author, Boston Review fiction editor, and the Ridge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at MIT. Professor Diaz has a piece that was published in the November 21, 2016 New Yorker magazine about radical hope in light of Donald Trump's win.

I have, for sometime, felt that it is necessary to live with radical ambiguity and radical persistence. I also have felt that hope is necessary so that we don't fall into despair and inability to act. I will now say that I want to live with radical hope. In his piece (here), Professor Diaz quotes the philosopher Jonathan Lear's definition of radical hope. Radical hope is not warm and fuzzy. 

This is a quote from Jonathan Lear: “What makes this hope radical,” Lear writes, “is that it is directed toward a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is.” Diaz then talks about radical hope is something you practice. 

This piece is succinct, but quite lovely - or at least I think so. It talks about the type of hope that can keep each of us moving forward, taking one step at a time to get where we want to be. To help us not give up. To keep finding the light in the darkness.


The first photo is Ron Smith's and was found on unsplash.com
The second photo is from my book Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here).

Monday, September 11, 2017

Love Your Country

I was quite surprised when this saying (and it's companion Love the world) came through for one of the mediation pairs for my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here). I think it would seemingly be hard to love my country right now with all the things going on here. 

But, I find it still easy to love my country because there are still many things right about my country. Yet, I think there is more to loving a country besides what is right about it. The meditation text that came through for this saying talks, in part, about loving your country meaning wanting the best for it and for those who live there.

What aspirations and hopes do we have for our countries? I think we can work towards those things, doing what we are able to do.

I wrote this poem to accompany this meditation image:

Love of Country

Sometimes I find it
much too easy 
to say how rotten 
my country is, to focus
on all that I view as wrong.
By doing that I can end up
living in fear and amorphous
terror and anger.

What I'd really rather
do is live in love,
nurture the compassionate, 
the kind, the growth of
change. Focus on the
good-heartedness, the
strength of character that
underlies so much.

What lives in my heart?
Love for my country.

©2017 Kathryn L. Samuelson 

The first image is from my book.
The second image was found on unsplash.com. The credit goes to: mcml-xxxiii-steal-my---art