Updated: Jan 16, 2022
Hope is not a strategy - until you find yourself in a moment where it is.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words in a Washington, D.C., address in February 1968, just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis.
Those words span the decades and remain as one of the most powerful messages of his legacy—the hardships that burden us down today should never deter us from envisioning a brighter and more justice and hope-filled future.
No circumstance will last forever. Discontentment, sorrow, shame, delight, loss, joy—none of these feelings will last forever.
HOWEVER - hope is the one thing that breaks with those other feelings? The Dr. knew this, and the ripple effect of that 'knowing' continues to echo itself across the waters of time, some 50-plus years later.
In his personal and public life, he endured many setbacks. Dr. King admonished us that we “accept” these hardships even as we hang onto the hope that keeps his message so strong today. A roadblock or stop sign can put any of us at risk of throwing away our dreams and desires, regardless their scale or scope. Coming to terms with these afflictions is simply the pavement or path beneath our feet of what he affectionately and passionately labeled as “the promised land” which liberates us to move through our failures in a more expansive view of advancement and hope.
There are some who say, "hope is not a strategy". But what they don't know, is that it is not - only until it is. Until it is all that is left.