This is where I’m placing my hope for the world; from the bottom up, in the accumulation of smallness. I do this recognizing the obvious need for responsible leadership reflected at the top, with nation states, international institutions, and global systems. People say that they have hope when a coalition of countries sign the Paris climate accords to lower greenhouse gases; when the United Nations reports on progress with their Millennium Development Goals; when Pope Francis makes history in visiting Iran. There is indeed something hopeful in all of that.
Still, I tend to look for hope at the other end of the spectrum: when mosques in a local Islamic association in Cairo choose to install more efficient light bulbs; when a teacher in Afghanistan opens an underground school for girls in the face of cultural hostility to their education; when an Anglican priest in Uganda confronts the religious stigma associated with AIDS by sharing that he’s HIV positive from a blood transfusion. There is something profoundly hopeful in all of this as well.