Diverse hands in the shape of a heart illustration expressing the feeling of teamwork and togetherness.
When I think about the topic of “Hope for the Present Future”, I not only look at myself, but at the small humans that I am raising. In the age of social media, instant gratification, and full access to everyone and everything, it’s hard to be a parent. Finding optimism in the midst of a world that projects hate and fuels itself off negativity, can feel like a futile effort.
I personally find gratitude for the upcoming generation. The “covid babies” are a reason for anyone to find hope and to believe in humanity again. My children and their peers are strong, resilient, and brave in ways that most of us have never known. I watch them power through obstacles, expand their curious minds, and push boundaries like nobody’s business. These babies came during the midst of world-wide chaos; during a time when everything was uncertain, they came unequivocally prepared to withstand whatever comes their way. And they’ve stuck to being “built differently”.
My heart is full of joy when I see how they interact with friends. They don’t know the barriers they are crushing under their feet; the prejudices they are continuing to burn to the ground. My mixed raced children are raising up as a generation of inclusion right in front of my eyes. The beauty of it is, they have no idea the impact they have; to me this is the best kind of innocence.
When I look to the past, I can see times of turmoil for myself, my fellow African Americans and melanated people, and for the country as a whole. I remember enduring racism as young as four years old. But, my children have yet to experience the struggles of racism or even being made aware that their skin color makes them different. I find that this current generation doesn’t see skin color as a difference, but as a symbol of curiosity, strength, and beauty. I cannot give credit only to our children, but to my generation, for seeing past what our grandparents and those before us established. We are slowly breaking down stereotypes, biases, and prejudices. Every day is bringing forth another step of change to our broken society, not only racism but for hate as a whole.
When I look forward, I am optimistic and grateful. My hope is that our children will continue to carry on the love, acceptance, and peace that we are instilling in them. I see myself and others learning how to find gratitude in the small things, how to extend forgiveness and patience, and to give grace when it is needed. Every day I see an outpouring of generosity in small unexpected ways. Our society is changing gradually, bringing about a sense of unity. For now, I will continue to hold close to my heart all the good I see, all the headway that’s been made to allow us the freedoms we have, and all the education and learning that is happening. Without these things we are merely stuck where we’ve always been. My hope for the present future is that we never stop moving in the right direction; that we gain momentum with every small step we take.