Day after day we turn on the radio and hear bad news. The headlines are frightening, the images on TV appalling. Our efforts to make a difference seem completely futile. Too often we find ourselves slipping into depression, a sense of hopelessness stealing our resolve to make the world a better place however we can. Is our vision for a kinder, more just world, simply a proverbial “impossible dream”? If not, how can we find the inspiration to continue the quest? Paul Loeb has gathered the stories of activists, visionaries, people who have faced enormous challenges and worked against seemingly insurmountable odds and found their efforts answered, sometimes in unexpected ways. When things look bleakest, Mr. Loeb explains, they’ve found that “there’s something deeper that’s more sustaining, that exists above and beyond any particular reasons for optimism.” What is that “something deeper”? Paul Loeb shares the answers that inspire him and others who have carried on-no matter what. He points to stories of success that grew out of the very jaws of defeat. And he breathes life back into the sense of possibility that will keep hope alive for each of us.
Paul Loeb is associate scholar at Seattle’s Center for Ethical Leadership, and a commentator for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and others. His books include the widely acclaimed Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time (St. Martin’s Press 1999) and The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear (Basic Books 2004).
Topics Explored in this Dialogue:
- How you can find reasons to be hopeful even when it feels you may be powerless
- How having hope is different from predicting the future
- Why hope doesn’t have to be realistic
- Why laughter is an important and necessary element of activism
- How your efforts can have an impact far beyond your awareness
- How so many of the people who altered the course of history had every reason to believe they had failed
Program Number: 3046 Host: Michael Toms Interview Date: 5/8/2004