That’s a word I’ve been struggling with in the past week after some encouragement from a retired friend who believes younger generations will make the world right again.
I so want to believe that. I so want to feel it deep inside.
Maybe it’s my line of work as news editor. While a reporter might write one story per day about some social injustice or tragedy, I can edit up to 20 such stories per shift, craft headlines for them, write excerpts, photo captions, etc. It’s a lot of negativity, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade.
I have to be somewhat jaded — along with objective — during my working hours. I can’t dwell much on all the pain in our reports.
Outside of work, it’s a different matter — no doubt, as regular readers here have seen in my various blog posts. Sometimes for me, it seems there is not a lot of optimism for a world dealing with a pandemic and multiple environmental catastrophes along with civil unrest and myriad other problems.
I can cry here about the state of the world, virtually speaking. And I can point you to articles that should make us all cry, if not during working hours. Such as one by Jordan Salama recently.
My heart was broken when I read his piece on the Scientific American site that started with this:
I’ve never known an Earth that wasn’t on fire. I’m 23 years old, and I’m not alone. My entire generation has come of age in a world so defined by climate change and human destruction—by forests burning and glaciers melting, by extinguished species and rising seas—that it’s sometimes been hard to fathom what an even more dismal future might look like.
Jordan points the finger at older generations, not so much for the mess we’re all in, but for the fact that so many seem to be shrugging off the “apocalyptic fields of ruin” left by wildfires, hurricanes, floods and more. For his generation, he says, it is all “a constant, excruciating worry.”
Yet, God bless him, he ends his piece with a note of hope — and that makes tears well up in my eyes again. There is still time. Things can turn around, he says, much like my aforementioned retired friend believes.
I want to believe it on this Canadian Thanksgiving Day, when I am truly grateful for all the blessings in my life — including my job.
I want Jordan and his generation to be able to give thanks for blessings throughout their lives, too. And the generations that come after him.
I want to be optimistic about that.
I want to feel hope.