Big Issues and Staying Hopeful

My first post is from Howard Zinn’s article entitled “Optimism of Uncertainty”
Feel free to be a super blogger and read it here->(

I would like some responses to this quote in which Zinn opens up the article.

“In this awful world where the efforts of caring people often pale in comparison to what is done by those who have power, how do I manage to stay involved and seemingly happy? I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning.”

This is something that I think every person goes through. It is something that I constantly find challenging because I am always looking at the bigger issue. Sometimes all you can do is act as a individual which can be very draining. This is because as one person you can only do so much. You can work your hardest toward fixing an issue but nothing could change.

How do you measure change?

How do you continue to take actions on any issue you care about when they are so many bigger stakeholders that try to do everything they can to suppress your issue?

What actions can you take in your everyday life to combat this?

2 Responses to “Big Issues and Staying Hopeful”

  1.   Wendy Wagner Says:

    I just love Howard Zinn. This reminds me of a conversation we had on our last alternative break trip on the Pine Ridge reservation. A few students had gotten excited about following up on our experience when we got back home to Mason and suggested that we organize a Mason protest of Columbus Day. I had to admit during our team reflections that my initial reaction to that suggestion was kind of deflated. I mean, it’s a good idea, but is this country EVER going to acknowledge how grotesque it is for us to actually celebrate what Columbus did? Isn’t that goal a bit unrealistic? My second reaction was to feel absolute shame for having had the first reaction. Howard Zinn is right. Even though the gamblers odds are crazy, the only way to assure you won’t win is to not play. It doesn’t matter if we end Columbus day. What matters is we are there with a loud voice to challenge it rather than staying silent. That matters – and Zinn has a whole history book full of stories of committed people who faced unrealistic odds, chose to stay in the game anyway and created huge, important social changes.

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