Radical Hope

“But all the fighting in the world will not help us if we do not also hope. What I’m trying to cultivate is not blind optimism but what the philosopher Jonathan Lear calls radical hope. “What makes this hope radical,” Lear writes, “is that it is directed toward a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is.” Radical hope is not so much something you have but something you practice; it demands flexibility, openness, and what Lear describes as “imaginative excellence.” Radical hope is our best weapon against despair, even when despair seems justifiable; it makes the survival of the end of your world possible. Only radical hope could have imagined people like us into existence. And I believe that it will help us create a better, more loving future.” –Junot Diaz, b. 1968

There is so much beyond my understanding and control– the line about “a future goodness that transcends the current ability to understand what it is”  really resonated with me.  Unitarian Universalists have always emphasized the power humans have to address suffering, reluctant to leave issues of justice in the hands of a distant God.  Sometimes, however, I find it helpful to step out of a traditional UU paradigm of “human power” and remember just how limited my human powers are.  There are things that transcend me and my understanding– and quite frankly, sometimes I find that a huge relief.

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday: Finding Your Power— In the face of fear and uncertainty, how can we stay powerful?  Worship leaders this week are Rev. Darcy Baxter, Matthew Mason, and Sabine Klein.


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