Struggling to make sense of life. Why we are here. Why our paths cross, why sometimes this is joyful and sometimes sad. Figuring out how to cause the least amount of pain possible. Not causing pain being impossible. We say hello and goodbye. How are you? As long as we care, are we are doing all right? Or is it more about being careful? Not about being fearful, but proceeding with care.

All this has something to do with a quote that I have had in mind often as of late from the book Beyond Fear, “Hope is the certainty that something makes sense (or is right) regardless of how it turns out.”

Love is hopeful. Being open to loving people even at the potential cost of being hurt. Being open to loving even after being hurt, but being careful not to cause or experience more hurt than necessary. How do we set up circumstances to support love and care? I cannot believe it is enough to love, although this is part of it. It also has to be about taking action to ensure the world is structured for hope. Hope being defined as above and being inherently connected to love.

Structuring hope is a funny thing to think about. I have been witness to structures crushing hope. Have seen people do what they believe is right and been shut down by abusive power. Will these people still do what is right the next time they are in a situation where things are not ok? If they continue to be shut down this becomes less and less likely and then we end up in a space with less and less love. And the people involved are worn down, defeated, hopeless. That is not life, it is a living death.

Maybe this is too dramatic, but there is a way that I want to live my life, with love and hope and connected to others. I saw You Can't Take it With You at the Everyman Theatre in Baltimore this week. It was about love and hope and doing what one can to find joy in life. The characters were of course written to the extreme and thus ended up bordering on frivolous, but they love each other and are able to sway others into loving rather than causing more pain. This can be used as inspiration in creating space for hope. Thinking of how to support each other when standing up for what is right, especially when circumstances are structured to cause more pain than necessary. Figuring out how not to burn out, get worn down, become defeated in working to change these circumstances. Loving those struggling with you. Loving those who cannot see the struggle, but also holding them accountable. Doing what is right regardless of how it turns out.

And remembering that everything will work out in the end and if it hasn't then it is not the end yet. This statement from a movie preview, but meeting someone whose name I knew, but who I had not been introduced to before last night, and who said this to me, after I have said it to others, makes me think that it is true. If we structure the world for hope and love, there will be more hope and love and less pain. Never no pain, but hopefully no unnecessary pain.