Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Who is this wolf in sheep’s clothing anyway? Does he have a name, any kind of identity. Or is he/she just playing at being the wolf while being a coward inside?
I know what a way to start my column. I just wonder at things. I like to look inside, turn things upside down and inside out till they make a kind of sense to me. I see no sense in living in this world and keeping it all at bay and a mystery. No, I want to know what makes things tick, especially people. Now, that is often a mystery for sure. But I know one thing and that is the word HOPE. You must have hope in your life that things will somehow get better, especially when you are feeling down and out. I admit I can be a rather emotional person and I ride the tones of life like I am on some kind of spiritual surfboard, hoping and praying that the next wave will be the one. Anyway, you guessed it, the word of the week is HOPE!
I used to be called Oscar the Optimist at the first magazine I worked on. It was called Zygote and it was one of the first competitors to Rolling Stone and we were the first alternative rag to use color. I will never forget when that first issue came out and I could see it in all the newsstands in New York City. Wow, that was a high I will never forget. Unfortunately, the mag folded after a year. That kind of sucked but we were making history while it lasted.
Now that may seem like a bit of a ramble, but you see it aligns with that one word again—HOPE. Yes, we had a lot of hope that we would succeed. And we lived off that hope till the very end, until the next project came along. That is the beauty of life, there is always another project, another game, another, and another. You don’t really run out of things to do or say. You don’t really run out of time; you just make some more. We have to make time! We have to make hope! And that is a beautiful thing.
There is something about that word hope, that simply gives one hope. One of the things I really like about America and Americans is our sense of hope. We hope that we will get that raise or get that girl or boy or fall in love. There is an endless spirit in this country. For the most part and I am not saying every time, but for the most part we can say what is on our mind. We can disagree about so many things but once you scratch the surface and get to the heart of things there is much love to be embraced. I think you must constantly put that love there. You gotta put that hope there. It does not happen by itself.
How do you manufacture hope? I think it is one of the natural ingredients of humanity. Look, I know there are tons of scumbags out there. I am not naïve to think we live in this lovely bubble. However, we have this opportunity thanks to our incredible communication devices (the Internet and various phone apps) and skills to multiply our population of lovers not haters. The truth is the haters are just a small percentage of our population. Just a tiny percentage but they have big mouths.
Now, I am not saying you should have a big mouth too, in order to balance out the noise, but it may not be too bad an idea. You don’t have to be shouting like a banshee to be heard. I have always been of the persuasion that a whisper is louder than a scream. You just must pack that whisper with dynamite so you can be heard over the hullabaloo. It’s like putting a silencer on a pistol. You don’t hear the explosion, but the target is hit, nevertheless. People lean in to hear a whisper. You don’t have to shout to be heard. Crank up the hope and you got a better relationship, a better city, a better country, and a better earth. One thing—don’t ever give false hope. It’s the real thing or nothing at all.
So, just maybe there is hope! Hope for each other. Hope for our country. Hope for our planet.
And if you ever lose hope or wondered, Rachel Platten has something to say: