A quick look at the top stories in the news today gives you an idea of the world these days. It doesn’t matter the country you’re in or from; a day in and day out, we are inundated by news of the pandemic, George Floyd and all the chaos that ensued, or crashes in markets due to all that is happening. If you have been keeping yourself updated of the latest happenings, it is a tough time to be hopeful. But is it really? We would like to reframe the situation and give you a new perspective, and perhaps, some hope.
What is happening – COVID-19
COVID needs no introduction. It is still prevalent in many countries around the world, wrecking the lives of low-income families who do not have access to affordable healthcare or medical insurance. Everyone around the world is fighting their fight against the virus on different fronts — towards a new normal.
What you should know about COVID-19
Many countries are reopening businesses and allowing the economy to open up. The recent good news from New Zealand raises our hopes that normality is within reach with their announcement of being “COVID-free”. Singapore has also recently announced moving into phase 2 of the new normal, where social gatherings of up to 5 people are allowed and establishments are receiving notices to gradually open for business.
The pandemic has also seen compassionate voices loud as ever as groups step in to provide support for their fellow beings. Groups have emerged from ground-up communities to garner donations and provide essential services to the needy. These are the daily reminders that the world is good, and there is hope for us yet.
What is happening – #BlackLivesMatter
A response had been sparked across the world because of George Floyd, one name among many others who have had their lives taken because of their skin colour. George Floyd’s incident had brought renewed attention to the #BlackLivesMatter movement internationally as peaceful protests and rallies ensue in the US. The chaos had also led to looting behaviours and while the reasons and motivations for looting differ and not all looters are protesters and vice versa, it still adds to the chaos that exists in the world right now.
What you should know about #BlackLivesMatter
Jesse Jackson, a prominent civil rights leader since 1960 and an aide to Martin Luther King, sees hope in today’s situation and that is a cue for us to do so as well. Jackson tells NPR, “To see white and black America rise up and fight back, to see people marching in London and France, that's progress.” The #BlackLivesMatter movement has also moved beyond the US to garner support in many different parts of the world and spark conversations about racism in different countries. Racism is often a touchy subject that is avoided like the plague, and talking about it opens up spaces for questions. It also creates more spaces for understanding, answers, and possible solutions. And that is definitely something we can hope for.
Hope is what keeps us going when the going gets rough.
That is what will be helpful for us to remember. The ones who are fighting for what they believe in use hope as the fuel for that fight, the hope that things will change if they take action. Whether you are an outsider looking in and feeling the pain as you read the news, or you are in the midst of it all feeling the full force of pain pelting you, remember that hope is what pushes us to take action, so stick with that hope. Remember the love for humankind and resist the urge to focus on the anger. It’s not easy, and it might be a luxury we cannot afford to just focus on the small wins. But if that’s what it means to keep that fire alive and burning for a longer time, then I will choose to hope and continue taking actions towards what I believe in because that is how we progress. How about you?