For 2018, I present two challenges for myself and for anyone reading this: can we show more hope, love, and courage in our daily lives? I’ll remember 2017 as a year of new encounters and engaging dialogue with people from different parts of the globe and who hold different worldviews. It is always interesting to listen to people and learn from their life experiences. One thing that struck me during my travels is that, whether they were conscious of it or not, the people I met were asking about the nature of love. We might say that love is still the most mysterious and powerful force and reality that transcends time and space. We know we need it; yet, it also seems foreign and strange because our world is littered with news of pain, suffering, and terror. Each year there are advances in technology, new innovations, and constant threat to security. Consequently, people seem to experience escalated anxiety and fear across the world. And so the world has become acquainted with fear and a stranger to love.
I wrote this poem after I participated in a group discussion concerning foreign policy and international development. It was evident that everyone was feeling frustrated at the slow pace of progress, lack of accountability, and the supposed inaction of the people ‘on the ground.’ During that discussion, I couldn’t help but think, “If we focused on what we could do, rather than what we couldn’t do, would we be able to see the positive change we’re envisioning? If we stopped pointing fingers at others and became honest with our own deep imperfections and flawed nature, would we be kinder to others?” This poem is a response to those questions. I hope it is also an encouragement for everyone who is going through dark moments.