January 1, 2014
Vol: 21 No: 1

Rev. Rich Lang

In 2014, hope for the best and then work to make it happen

by: Rev. Rich Lang

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No matter what the situation we human beings always have the power to choose hope or despair. We have the power to choose how we focus the energy that is our life. We can turn our thoughts, attitudes, actions, words and deeds toward an ever descending spiral of apathetic cynicism, or we can turn toward the emergence of hopeful signs and possibilities and work, step by step, to build meaningful, measurable change.

Here at the very beginning of 2014, I choose hope. I’m hopeful that Kshama Sawant will stay true to her socialist beliefs and will help build a political alternative that truly represents and focuses on those whose income is less than $50,000 a year. I’m hopeful that through her mere presence on the city council, the public and political conversation about living wages, affordable housing, public transportation and financial equity will grow so loud that actual legislation will improve the living conditions of working-class people. I’m hopeful that the public will realize that an effective socialist alternative is required if we are to change the continual onslaught brought on by the politics of the powerful. I’m hopeful that good news preached to the poor and working class will actually become realities achieved by mobilizing renewed public and political will. 

I’m hopeful, as well, because this newspaper is achieving real change for the vendors who sell it. Real Change is a jobs creator, and those who work it discover an economic and psychological improvement in their lives. Further, because so many vendors sell it, the public life at large is improved. I’m hopeful because Real Change is growing beyond Seattle into the suburbs and even further out into Kitsap County. Real Change is one of the few meeting spaces where the middle class meets and develops friendships with folks who struggle with poverty. This is crucial because only as the poor, working and middle classes unite will there be significant, and substantial, economic change in the policies of the powerful. Only as we unite will we discover, on a basic emotional level, that we have common interests, common dreams and a common enemy that really doesn’t want us to become friends. Such discovery is the seedbed of the political evolution we need. Such discovery has the power to reorient our desire for justice.

And I’m also hopeful because despite the gloom and doom of a very real threat to the health of our planet brilliant minds are at work creating new technologies that make our lives greener, and point toward alternatives to the current fossil-fuel economy. I’m hopeful because, one by one, we are awakening to the dream that a better world is possible, that the politics of pillaging the public purse are not inevitable, and that a nation that chooses to care for its people is doable. 

Happy New Year, everyone. Let us make it so.

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