Signpost with HOPE and DESPAIR pointing to bright and shadowy landscapes with green grass and cloudy blue sky

Hope or Despair?

“Despair” comes from the Latin root de meaning without and sper meaning hope.  In tough times, it is easy to despair, to become cynical, to give up hope.  Mignon McLaughlin wrote, “Despair is anger with no place to go. Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.”  Hopelessness can also lead to a cynicism that is the privilege of the comfortable — as Rebecca Solnit wrote, “If everything is doomed, then nothing is required.”

Sean Parker Dennison wrote, “The danger of hopelessness is that we can lose each other.”  And without others, without community, hopelessness and despair can become a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

This Sunday, we’ll consider some ways of handling those moments or hours or even seasons of despair.  RYSEC Leader Jone Johnson Lewis will present some ideas, and participants will have some opportunity to reflect.

Sunday Sharing

Contributions to "Sunday Sharing" are shared between RYSEC and this month's sharing partner as we try to contribute to making a more humane world.  This month, we focus on ending gun violence (and will in a future month focus on an LGBTQIA+ organization, which we usually have done during Pride Month).

In-Person and Zoom

We are hopeful this program can be both in-person and on Zoom, but we may change plans depending on the COVID-19 pandemic risk level and our staffing availability. If you RSVP for in-person attendance, you'll be notified by email of any change in plans.

We begin the program promptly at 10:30 am ET, with gathering time from 10:15 both in-person and on Zoom.  We will try to end by 11:30. In-person socializing time (with social distancing and masking) will be until noon (outdoors, weather permitting), the Zoom room will be open until noon for socializing as well. Bring your own drink and snacks and, if possible, consume them outdoors; if you bring anything to share, make sure it's in single-serve packaging.

Join Zoom Meeting

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Please click this URL to join:

Or join by phone: Meeting ID: 718 548 4445
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
+1 646 876 9923 US (New York) / +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) / +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) / +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) / +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) / +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) / find your local number




Jun 26 2022


10:30 am


Meeting House AND Zoom


The Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture is located near the Fieldston Ethical Culture School campus in the Bronx. Click for a map to find directions:

Directions to the Ethical Society

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