We have posted many times here and on our Facebook page affirming James Luther Adams holy sense of optimism. He wrote that “the resources (divine and human) that are available for the achievement of meaningful change justify an attitude of ultimate optimism.” The course of human history has been a long, stuttering progression of greater justice and more compassion. It has stalled, and even gone backwards in places and at different times. Overall though, we see that the global trend is always positive.
That is not because of divine dictate. It is not the hand of God, but the result of uncountable human hands working to build the beloved community. Throughout history, people have struggled,sometimes alone but often in coordinated effort, to build systems that were more fair and inclusive. It is not to say that there are no villains or bad actors. Such people have occasionally devastated a whole community. There are usually dozens, even hundreds of people who go to work rebuilding. They sometimes get started before the dust has even settled. There have been tyrants, but their legacy eventually comes to being a lesson for future generations in what not to do.
If we are to have any hope, then we must put in the effort, invest the resources, and do what we can to encourage good things. This is the only way in which we can ensure that good will come into the world. If we want the Beloved Community to exist, we must build it. We must build it and be prepared to rebuild and reshape it to meet the changing needs of the world.
We all need hope, but also the reminder that a better tomorrow is in our hands and not just our hearts. Our sweat builds on the foundation of centuries of progress. As Dr. King taught, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” So, this week, we ask you to be optimistic, to not let the world shake your faith. Please go and love the Hell out of the world. It is the only proven remedy.
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