Local woman terrified by small spark of optimism8 December 2020
A local woman was horrified to find herself cradling the smallest hopeful spark following this dumpster fire of a year. In the wake of what has felt like a decade’s worth of tragedies and misfortunes crammed into one year, the idea of optimism felt so foreign to the former glass-half-full-er that its presence startled her to tears.
Somewhere between terrifying fires, a pandemic, the brutal reminders of systemic racism, the impending demise of civilisation due to climate change, and even murder hornets (whose disappearance is far more unsettling than their discovery), there has been a sharp, profound decline in the raw amount of ‘hope’ circulating in the collective consciousness.
As this decade-in-a-year has systematically ground down on humanity’s consciousness, many people find it difficult to remember when the world wasn’t an apocalyptic crumbling nightmare. One child, when asked about the last time they felt any sense of positivity towards the future, responded by taking a long grizzled sip of their drink and saying, “Haven’t heard that word in a long while—we don’t use it round here.” The interview was cut short by the interviewee’s caregiver reminding them to socially distance from strangers.
However, the presence of small budding hopes—like the sight of the first flower after a ceaseless winter—demonstrates more than just the human spirit. More than just a desire for a mellow return to the status quo, these hopes represent humanity’s realisation of how much change is possible in our lives. We have realised how much we value one another, and how much we must continue to believe and champion one another in the face of the systems that seek to destroy us piece by piece. Now that we have found ourselves untethered from social mores, these sparks represent, if nothing else, that humanity can and will find a way to create a world for the better, simply because there is no other option.
Update: This reporter would like to add that she, too, has found a small spark of hope.