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...

Cultivating Optimism

The opposite of optimism is a sense of helplessness. It’s easy to feel helpless in challenging times.  RYSEC Leader Jone Johnson Lewis will reflect on some different meanings and aspects of optimism, including differentiating it from unquestioned faith in a good...

When Hope Is Hard to Find

Some song lyrics come to mind in thinking about this week’s platform talk:  “I’ll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find; and I’ll bring a song of love, and a rose in the wintertime.”  “Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows / Lies the seed, that...

Joy and Hope: Poetry Colloquy

What are a couple of your favorite poems?  Ones that inspire you? that speak of joy or hope or both?  That you’d like to share? Bring a couple of poems to share, and be ready to enjoy those poems that others bring.  We’ll reflect together on the place of poetry in...

The Blessing of Despair

Most people who’ve lost loved ones know that expressions of easy hope aren’t helpful in one’s deep despair. As human beings, we have an ability to and a need to mourn.  And while we want to be people of action on social justice issues — climate change, racial justice,...

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