Hope is complicated.
Particularly when our understanding of hope can be incredibly misguided.
Hope is not blind optimism, it isn’t the rejection of negative emotions, nor a constant reinforcement of a happy attitude. It is not about simply ignoring the harsh realities of life, or pretending that everything is fine when it clearly isn’t. Instead, hope is the belief that we can overcome challenges, that we can and will find a way through tragedy.
Hope is present and impactful in every facet of life, from our fundamental beliefs and cultural landscapes to our sense of purpose.
Hope additionally can be represented in a variety of ways and cultivated through actions and experiences, moments of Resilience, Adversity and Survival.
Throughout my life I’ve always viewed music as a method of representing my hope and aspirations. From a young age I grew to love to sing and perform, a passion that was sparked by music-activist Joni Mitchell.
~A little info about Joni~
Joni Mitchell grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan. At the age of nine Joni contracted polio. She spent plenty of time in the hospital, passing the long isolating afternoons singing and writing. As she grew up, she attended art school where she became pregnant at twenty one years old. As an unwed young woman in a rural community, she faced immense backlash. Joni made the tough decision to give her daughter up for adoption, leaving her with a lot of long lasting guilt.
Overtime, Joni utilized the complex emotions and hardships she had faced in her youth, and channeled them into her music. She would go on to become one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters of all time.
Joni prioritized topics such as environmentalism and feminism. After the criticism she faced for having a child at a young age, Joni emulated the importance of breaking down gender barriers in her famous album “Blue”.
For Joni, resilience, survival and adversity were pivotal for her career and her own individual journey. For each person, community or nation impacted by a tragedy, hope can be represented differently, but what’s important to understand is the true belief and support hope requires.
Overall, hope is not a feeling, but a force that requires action. Our experiences and the adversity, resilience and survival that stem from them, is what shapes us. By understanding and embracing these elements, we can cultivate a sense of hope that truly makes a difference for ourselves and others.