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A Hopeful Message

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

It’s the beginning line of poem ‘314’ by great American poet Emily Dickinson. I came across this poem somewhere in the wilderness of my online video consumption. Unlike almost all other content I consume, this stuck with me. Her poem calls to hope and now it calls me to write this post.

Hope seems more essential than ever in a time where we all can be so cynical. Trees burn, children die and species go extinct. So many problems in our world, and so little time to solve it. How much impact can we as individuals have on problems that are too great to even comprehend? It's easy to ask: “what’s the point?”. Sometimes I feel like the human life is the mere activity of skipping a rock across a body of water. The rock will sink, the wrinkles will disappear. 

But then I think, we humans still like skipping rocks. And that is hope. Hope is not a definite state, it needs no goal. Hope will never give us the ecstatic feeling of crossing the finish line. Only hope is so much more important than winning a trophy. Hope is a constant. It’s always there. It needs to be there. 

Ms. Dickinson wrote about hope not to ignore the problems of her time but to solve them. When Dickinson wrote her poem, centuries ago, our problems were quite different compared to now but seemed similarly impossible to solve. But people remained hopeful and solved these problems to get to our world. It’s not a perfect world, but it's a better world. Poverty rates are going down, quality of life is going up. It’s easy to forget that. 

Messages of hope are important reminders to keep going. They're the motor to allow us to look forward. To reach for the stars even if they seem too far away. Ms. Dickinson wrote for us, because she knew that we can never lose hope.

Thank you for reminding us Emily. We hope and it’s worth it.

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