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Hope in Little Things

Written by Zoe Weil | 2 Comments | Published on November 6, 2009 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2009/11/06/hope-in-little-things/

I just watched this YouTube video of a wedding procession. (Click here if you can’t view it above.) It made me cry, which was an odd response to a rollicking, fun, fully bodied celebration of marriage, as the groomsmen and bridesmaids, ushers, and even the bride and groom, boogied their way up the aisle.

I think it made me cry because the video began with a web link soliciting donations for violence prevention, and because of the viral nature of such films, one couple’s wedding may result in much needed funds to prevent violence.

I think it made me cry because such a joyous procession was so unusual, which is actually sad.

I think it made me cry because it brought me such joy, and so my tears were also joyful tears.

I think it made me cry because it brought me hope, and genuine hope breaks my carefully constructed edifice of manufactured hope that often keeps me going when I would otherwise be hopeless, if I gave hopelessness any traction. And true hope, when I’ve been so busy keeping the specter of hopelessness at bay, is enough to make me tear up.

Why would a life-filled wedding procession bring me hope? Whenever people break traditions with something new and outside the norm, and whenever these are healthy and positive and exciting, I feel hope that we can break with other traditions – i.e. systems – that need new vision. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional wedding procession, but it’s interesting how rarely people diverge far from the tradition. The very act of breaking in a small way with any entrenched tradition reminds me that any system can be changed when we look at it fresh, with curious and critical eyes that seek new ways to make systems work better.

I want us to bring raucous, energized, enthusiastic innovation to “traditional” food, health care, political, energy, corporate, and even changemaking systems in order find exciting, practical, and visionary ways to do things differently and better. This short film reminds me that there are people everywhere with new ideas about how we do things.

Cheers,

~ Zoe Weil
Author of Most Good, Least Harm and Above All, Be Kind

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