“I steer my bark with Hope in the head, leaving Fear astern. My hopes, indeed, sometimes fail; but not oftener than the forebodings of the gloomy.”
– Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 8, 1816 as published in Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 4, p. 271
We are surrounded by fear mongers, by voices announcing forebodings of gloom. These voices pervade our media, our public discourse, our every conversation.
These voices are lies. Their source is the miser counting his gold, the bully pitting brawn against brain, the bigot seeking to protect undeserved privilege. These voices weave false tales to lure us off course and to keep our ship mired in their fog of hatred, violence, and lust for power.
As people of faith, as Americans, as believers in the dream of Jefferson and Adams, we must refute these voices. In defense of the Founders’ dream of democracy, we must tell these gloom sellers to remove their wares from our sight. For Hope built this nation, Hope sustained this nation, and Hope will see this nation eventually to the borders of the Beloved Community.
We live on a mighty ship lighting a beacon of freedom for the world. But we must trust our masthead of Hope and leave the doomsayers in our wake. And we must all take up the oars to keep the ship’s direction true.