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Laugh more!

Wit “is a necessary quality of mind for navigating our complicated world,” says James Geary, author of Wit’s End. In other words, laugh more. “To see clearly, look askance,” Geary advises.

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Are you a hope-aolic?

“I’m a hope-aolic,” Gloria Steinem declared recently on NPR. Steinem explained that she has hope for the future—because hope is a form of planning. First, you hope for something, and then you get busy to make sure what you hope for happens.

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Respond with hope

“The true act of resistance is to respond with hope….I am not without hope, not without spirit, although somedays such a posture is difficult. We remain, in spite of everything—the gerrymandering and the hacking and the voter suppression—a democracy….We have the right, the obligation, to vote and organize,” says David Ulin in his book The […]

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Social and economic freedom

About 80 percent of the people in South Africa live in poverty. Political freedom is not enough, says Zamaswazi Diamini-Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, who spoke at Arts & Letters Live in Dallas on July 23, 2018. “I envision a world in which people have economic and social freedom, too.”

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Don’t Give Up

During 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela remained determined and dignified. Finally, after he was released from prison, he became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. “We are too quick to give up,” he once said. “If we don’t fight to get up, we are giving up on something bigger—life.” I heard Zamaswazi […]

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Draw deeply from the earth

Emily Carr, one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, created stunning paintings of trees, ravens and mountains. “Draw deeply from the good nourishment of the earth but rise into the glory of the light and air and sunshine,” she wrote in her journal. I found that quote in the introduction to Emily Carr Collected. –Joy

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Chimpanzees in the wild

In 1900, there were one million chimpanzees in the wild. Today, according to the Jane Goodall Institute, there are “as few as 340,000.” But, Jane Goodall, age 84, still has hope for chimpanzees and for the world. “It’s never too late to turn things around by nurturing the seed of hope,” Goodall told students at […]

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Something to hope for

“Rules for happiness: Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” –Immanuel Kant Joe Biden includes that quote at the beginning of his new book Promise Me, Dad, which is the story of what happened to him and his family during the last year of his son Bo’s life.

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Finding meaning

Kerry Egan, author of On Living, is a hospice chaplain who spends a lot of time listening to people’s stories. If you know someone who tells the same stories again and again—and I do, Egan explains that the person is still trying to find meaning in his or her stories. That’s the reason for the […]

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Hope is left to us

I have been depressed by the election results—so depressed that I resorted to eating chocolate for three days. But marching in the Women’s March in Austin improved my spirits. I took action! And I am going to continue to take action. I have made a goal of writing at least one letter to my representatives […]

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