Wednesday, December 31, 2014
“Though cynicism tranquilizes hope, progress is often made because outraged people demand it. Correct evaluations of a much-improved world shouldn’t undercut the knowledge that the world desperately needs improving. Wherever optimistic evaluations about the current state of affairs trump ambitious goals for political progress, we can fairly say that positivity is the worst.” --Shannon Gormley, IN DEFENCE OF OUTRAGE, Ottawa Citizen, Dec. 29, 2014 Well spoken, Shannon! Indeed, as my friend Ronna Jevne once said to me: “It wasn’t the smokers who got us the smoke-free environments.” We need the outrage to ge things started. But somewhere in the process of making the change, the smokers got on board with the non-smokers, and that made all the difference. If outrage had prevailed alone, we’d still be coughing in smoky elevators and dodging cigarettes in department store line-ups. So I ask: What good can come of outrage, no matter how justified, without a firm grounding in the hope that the world, in fact, can and will improve? And what do we need to do to ensure that hope flourishes alongside the outrage?