Saturday, August 26, 2017

The #WATWB August Edition: On Hope & the Worthiness of the Effort It Takes

Photo by Berlian Khatulistiwa (Unsplash). Typography by Guilie Castillo.
It's been a hard couple of months, and it hasn't been easy to focus on the positive. Last month, in fact, I found it impossible (one of our dogs died). And then the drama with North Korea started. The situation in Venezuela got much, much worse (Curaçao is like 75 km off the VEN coast)—including a threat of military action from the US and, just yesterday, new financial sanctions. And then there's that spate of white supremacist rallies and demonstrations wreaking havoc in the US.

Is it any wonder that I'm still struggling to find the light? Maybe not. But I have a choice, don't I? I can allow myself to sink into the darkness, to lose the fragile hold I have on hope, to give in to despair. Or... I can make an effort. Grasp that hope tighter. Feed my strength with the superfood of finding the good in the world.

Which is why the We Are The World blogfest, a monthly event that seeks to spotlight the good stories, the positive outcomes, the reasons for hope, is all the more important. And important, too, that I—that all of us—make the effort to find those stories.

Those outcomes.

Those reasons.

Even if it's something small, something tiny and apparently insignificant compared to the enormity of everything else. Every bit of hope helps. Every bit of feel-good we're able to muster, even if only for a moment, pushes the darkness back. And, inch by inch, we'll gain ground. Because, finally, this is about keeping alive not just the ideals but the reality of the world we want: a world of light, and of hope.

And it starts with us. Be the light you want to see in the world, right? In order to be any kind of light, though, we need to keep that spark alive in our own consciousness.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Other Side of Hope: Film Reviews from the Curaçao Film Festival #ciffr

The Other Side of Hope, a film from Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki about a Syrian immigrant in Finland and officially labeled a comedy (more on that below), was the opening film for the Curaçao film festival on Wednesday April 5th. When we were making our selections for the festival, I marked this one as a must-see: immigration, especially from Syria, has taken a prominent role in news and debates worldwide, and after my dushi spewed a few anti-immigration sentiments (on which I swooped down like a rapacious bird of prey, no mercy, no quarter, until I saw a dawning light of reason in his eyes), I thought a story such as this one might help elucidate some of the finer points in the refugee-crisis dispute.

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