When one attempts to stand against surging social and political tides, feelings of powerlessness can flood one with anxiety.
Accordingly, a single individual can become inundated with feelings of unease and uncertainty. As a result, the social pressure to drown angst-creating individual doubt within the mindless certainties of a mob can become overwhelming.
Often, brick by brick, in an attempt to withstand these powerful inner feelings and outward pressures, we build a structure of false consciousness… that we, often, mistake for our convictions, and tragically mistake this dismal dwelling for the whole of existence.
“So little pains do the shallow take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.”
– Thucydides, from The History of the Peloponnesian War
How then is it possible to withstand feelings of powerlessness?
Put one foot in front of the other. Scrawl one honest word after the next on the parchment of the heart. Make your life a flaming arrow aimed at the dry and rotted heart of the system or make your own heart a warm hearth of compassion for its victims, as you negotiate its cold realities.
Thus, hope becomes a process of engagement, not a comforting lie; not the stuff of public relations hustlers and political hacks – but a quality of honest conviction and persistent labor – and not a cynical marketing tool.
Illustration by Dan Booth. Not to be reproduced without permission.