Commentary / Coronavirus

A Word on Hope

hopeWe all need hope. So here it is, truth, if you will wait for it. At some uncertain date, the US economy will be thriving again – restrictions lifted, lives restored, jobs and paychecks regular, laughter on the wind, no virus.

Somehow, Winston Churchill – paragon of hope – floods back today. “All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Crises are not navigated without hope. So, one and all, let us envision the future and have hope.

Homemade and medical masks will be tucked into drawers, get repurposed, mused on a final time and tossed. Banner headlines about “COVID-19” and “coronavirus,” never-ending gubernatorial press conferences, state and country “new cases” and “deaths” each day will completely disappear.

Neighbors, meeting in hallways, on sidewalks and foot trails, sitting on front porches, and walking dogs will beam cheerfully, wide smiles. They will pause to talk, the fashionable phrase “social distancing” – at once new, now old – never entering conversation.  The instinct to distance will subside, then be gone.

Invites, emails and signs will announce – with renewed enthusiasm – an outpouring of social events, church services and community suppers, neighborhood Bar-B-Qs and grand re-openings, monster sales and melodious concerts, chances to gather in little bunches for lunch – or just to mix and mull life.

Phones and computers will buzz with meetings, not virtual but real, even as familiarity with Zoom, Skype and telework encourage a new interest in working from home. Restaurants will pull tables back together, with patrons noticing at first, then gradually less, and not at all.

Political crosstalk – already exhausting and unpopular – will shift from mass testing and economic recovery to discussing mass debt, better planning, and protection of our constitutional rights to free speech, assembly, travel, religion, self-defense and guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure.

Battle lines will reform with insight – capitalism versus socialism, individual and states’ rights versus unjustified federal power, ignoring threats or addressing China’s influence over American lives.  New awareness of globalism’s dark side and communism’s innate darkness will replace complacency.

Closer to home, hope will spring anew from celebrating life – all the little miracles that make a good life worthwhile, graduations and new jobs, weddings and baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries, reminiscences and reunions, family travel and familiar rituals, loving, lively eyes and forgotten fears.

This is what America is all about – faith in the future, gratitude for our past, reliable family and friends – creating an extraordinary capacity for personal and national resilience.

In the middle of this seemingly endless crisis, replete with bugaboo headlines and bundles of bad news, hope is absolutely essential.  It is also – in our America, at this time – entirely grounded.  This economy will roar again. This nation will stand tall again. Laughter will ring out again. We all need to know it, understand it, believe it, and embody it – in hope.

As Churchill reminded us, in days of greater crisis: “The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible” – with hope.  That is the truth, if you will wait for it.  We all need hope.

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