Celebrating Hopelyfe

Zainab and Naia

January 25th, 2017

9:45pm

Right now, we’re possibly as scared as we’ve ever been. This is big, because for the first time in awhile, or maybe even in forever, we’re not only scared for ourselves and those closest to us, but for everyone, our world, and our future. We’re afraid we might be losing hope. We’re afraid it might already be all gone.

The force that we're against is formidable. We want to change things, we have a vision, we have a plan, we know what we want to do, but it feels as if it’s too big, too small, or too late. We can't change the world, or even a part of it overnight, and nothing seems to be working at all. No one seems to care, or trust, or love others and our world. We want peace and unity and mutual understanding, and it just hurts so much to see the world taking one step forward, but two steps back. We assume we've come so far, and maybe we have, but when will it be far enough? Maybe never?

We can't say it'll be never. We can't say that our future is unchangeable, because that would be defeat, and we cannot be defeated. However, we’re questioning our abilities to save everything and everyone around us from total destruction. The very idea of us not being able to do anything, or worse, doing nothing, fills us with dread.

Hope is faint. Can you see it? We’re trying.

Today marks the one year anniversary of our brain-child, Hopelyfe, and throughout this year, we’ve reflected, questioned, shared, and learned. As young people overwhelmed by everything happening around us, we didn’t have a platform to respond to it all. From a certain election and natural disasters, to mass shootings and the refugee crisis, we were (and still are) drowning in humanity’s continual losses. Not long after we created our website, we wrote the piece above and called it Losing Hope. We were not only afraid of what was to come for us, but we feared for our world as well. Through the past year, however, we’ve learned from experience that it is as normal to lose hope as it is to find it once again. We’ve learned that the world can be disappointing, terrifying and awful, but that it can also be surprisingly, wonderfully okay. We’ve learned that we can do our part to contribute to the goodness that surrounds us. We’ve learned to embrace our imperfections, and to strive towards loving ourselves as much as we love others. Although this may sound cheesy, Hopelyfe has truly taught us to continue fighting for hope. Whether we aspire to make an impact on someone’s life, or for the world to finally be safe, we have learned to carry faith, ambition, and resilience within us. We’re not perfect, you aren’t perfect, and the world is anything but perfect. However, we’re beautiful, special and diverse, with the incredible force of hope driving us all towards something better. Here’s to more years of strength, communication, and appreciation for the incredible change-makers we have the potential to be.

• • •

Our thoughts are with those who continue to struggle to live without homes and in poverty in the midst of the holiday season. We also keep in mind those continually affected by abuse of power in Myanmar, as well as the slave trade which continues to dehumanize vulnerable men, women and children in Libya. We hope that the leaders and citizens of countries affected will think, act and react with kindness, empathy and a sense of justice. We pledge to do the same when we are affected by events like these. We pledge to be mindful of events occurring, to be grateful for our safety, to share the stories of our fellow humans, and take action wherever we can to prevent further crises from occurring.