The heart of justice is truth telling, seeing ourselves and the world the way it is rather than the way we want it to be. More than ever before we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling.
I have long said that hope is the virtue that I struggle with.
Or maybe it is that I struggle with the intersection of hope and reality.
I do try to keep my hopes realistic, not veering off into fantasy, but lately, it seems, even my realistic hopes get dashed on a regular basis.
On a personal level, my biggest struggle to maintain hope has been with my father’s health condition after a fall four weeks ago. I keep hoping that the medical team will be able to figure out what is causing his increased confusion, disorientation, and fatigue, so that we can make him more comfortable, but we don’t seem to be able to. I am not hoping for a miracle. Paco is 96 and has several underlying health conditions. I know the time we have left with him is limited. I just want to help make things as comfortable and stress-free as possible. I didn’t think this was an unrealistic hope, but perhaps it is.
Even with this personal struggle, there is always an awareness of what is going around us here in the US. I had hoped that, with several effective vaccines widely available, we could tamp down the pandemic, including the newer and more contagious variants. Instead, we are seeing some areas with very low vaccination rates experiencing spikes in COVID cases. Another realistic hope dashed.
Equally or perhaps even more alarming is the increasingly bizarre behavior of the Republican party. I had hoped that, after what even Republican election officials knew was a fair election, and especially after the horror of the January 6th insurrection and attack on the Capitol, the Republicans would fulfill their Constitutional duties and govern, at this point as the minority party. But they are not. In states that have a Republican legislature, especially if there is a Republican governor, too, we are seeing rafts of legislation that try to suppress votes of people who are less likely to choose Republican candidates. This isn’t just another dashed hope. It feels dystopian.
Of course, some hopes are more mundane. I had hoped to get an SoCS post written before I fell asleep and I have managed that.
“Given the complexity of the ecological crisis and its multiple causes, we need to realize that the solutions will not emerge from just one way of interpreting and transforming reality.”
— Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ paragraph 63
(This dynamic was in evidence in the final accord in Paris, where each country makes its own commitment. Let’s hope that these national plans will become more and more ambitious so that the climate can remain livable for everyone.)