Sunday, December 24, 2017

To be foolishly romantic

The man and I are going to church tonight to sing Christmas music with our friends there, and to deliver gifts to our minister and her wife and their sons, and to pray that 2018 will be the year that the madness that went down in 2017 gets righted. It was one hell of a year. I can't recall another one like it, where the toxicity of public life invaded everything. And yet there were corners of brightness, stories of resilience and healing, and moments of pure life-affirming grace.

Sabine posted this Howard Zinn quote on her blog, Interim Arrangements, and I can't stop thinking about it. With appreciation for the goodness and wisdom that allowed her to find and recognize the gold in this quote, I am sharing it here. We all need this as we head into the new year.

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."—Howard Zinn

10 comments:

  1. May the song of hope always be sung. It's just after midday here in the Pacific Northwest. I see with a little Googling that evening has come to you in New York already. Joy and peace to you and your family! Yes. May 2018 bring positive changes for all.

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  2. Love the quote.

    Merry Christmas, Angella

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  3. You are magnificent. So is Sabine.
    I love you.

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  4. Yes, here's hoping that 2018 corrects the crazy social and political tilt of the world in recent years! Have a great Christmas, R!

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  5. What a wonderful quote, and so true. Compliments of the season to you and yours, Angella :)

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  6. I'm glad you reprinted that bit of brightness from dear Sabine, because it was indeed a hell of a year and a bit of a year of hell. Zinn put it beautifully. That kind of wisdom saves us.

    Enjoy your music and fellowship. A happy and blessed day to you and yours!

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  7. That is a wonderful and timely quote. Thank you and Sabine. Merry Christmas dear Angella to you and your lovely family.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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  8. Thanks for sharing that quote. Have a Happy Christmas.

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  9. A wonderful quote and so true. We get to choose.

    Have a lovely day.

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  10. I fell in love with that quote too. So important to remember it everyday. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

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