Four Thousand Kilometres of Hope

Hope brings all of us places we never anticipated. For me? Hope brought me to four states in the Deep South. Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Pat, our tour guide at the Philbrook Museum of Art, and I after our tour

We went to some really inspiring places as a class. Each of these places had a unique story to tell, but they all had one thing in common – they showed the power of hope in the face of adversity. At the Dallas Holocaust Museum, we saw the resilience of survivors who held on to hope even in the darkest of times. At the Woody Guthrie Museum, we saw how music can inspire hope and bring people together. And at Black Wall Street, we saw a community that was thriving despite the many obstacles they faced.

These experiences taught me that hope is not just a feeling or a wish, it’s an active force that propels us forward. It’s what gives us the strength to keep going even when things seem impossible. It’s what inspires us to create a better world, even in the face of injustice and oppression.

Of course, hope alone is not enough. We also need action – concrete steps that move us closer to our goals. But hope is what drives us to take those steps, even when they are difficult or risky.

Working to develop a thesis to share my understanding was difficult but I think I’ve gotten better at it. My final thesis was this:

Stories of hope teach us to broaden our worldview which make us more proactive, more open minded, kinder people.

I used my thesis to create a video from the evidence we found on the trip. Through the power of hope and six hours of sleep, we were able to connect with others and see the world in a new light.

The final product looks like this:

I had a lot of difficulty managing my expectations for the final video. I imagined it looking like a documentary made for CBC with a whole crew and production team. It was never going to turn out like that simply due to the fact that I am producing the video alone on iMovie. I talked to my PLP teachers and they helped to remind me that just because the video isn’t CBC worthy, doesn’t mean it’s not a success. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow and most importantly, think.

As I think about the power of hope, I am reminded of a quote from civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis: “The most powerful nonviolent tool we have as a society is our vote.” Lewis knew that hope alone was not enough – we also needed to take action to create change. While voting has limited power to make change, I agree with Congressman Lewis. You need to take action, but I am again reminded of a quote. “You can’t fix the world if all you have is a hammer”

I tried throughout the project to think about how hope manifests itself in ways that are relevant to me. This train of thought always brought me back to political action which is an interesting internal observation.

In the end, hope and action go hand in hand. Hope inspires us to act, and action gives us the power to create a better future. So let’s hold on to hope, even in the darkest of times. Let’s be inspired by the stories of those who have come before us, and let’s take action to create a world that is more just, more equitable, and more hopeful.

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