Hope in times of despair

Given our bias for negativity, it is easy to lose hope and grow cynical by looking at the world take steps backwards. However, the people we most admire have always risen from the bleakest of times.

This is true of Indian freedom fighters: revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, social reformers like Vinoba Bhave and non-violent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. It was a legacy of racism in the US and South Africa that led to the luminous lives of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

This is true of Indian media. In a country that ranks 138th globally on freedom of press, P. Sainath tells us stories from its rural heartland – ones that Indian media largely ignores. This is true of the environmental movement, where An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary created more than 10 years ago, has inspired countless environment leaders around the world. This is also true of the digital revolution, where as technological giants redesign our environments to sap every minute of our attention, Tristan Harris blows the whistle on how they operate and Jaron Lanier tells us how we can rebuild the internet to serve us better.

In times of despair, it is easy to fall prey to cynicism. Instead, look for the people who are trying to help, for they are our reservoirs of hope.

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