Create January 2021 Challenge: Hope in a Handful of Words (and Pictures)
We have a lot of work to do in 2021. So we're going to start the year off with the hardest challenge we could think of.
'Hope' is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
What is hope? The dictionary calls it 'a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.' What do you hope for in 2021? What did you hope for in the past? Did it happen, or were your hopes dashed? Did hope ever die? What symbolises hope to you – a bird on the wing or the expression on another's face?
We're not soliciting facile answers here. You know us better than that. We don't want any of those beauty pageant speeches about 'hoping for world peace'. Are you as sick as we are of people telling us they want to buy the world a soft drink? Here's what we want you to help us with:
- An image, drawn, assembled, or photographed, that will show someone else the idea of 'hope' in an instant. The emphasis here is on 'someone else'. It's not about triggering a private memory. It's about reaching across the space between you and a stranger. We're hoping that you can help us do that.
- TS Eliot famously wrote, 'I show you fear in a handful of dust.' Sure, easy for him to say. But he didn't try to show us hope in a handful of anything. Can you assemble the words to talk about hope? Can you turn them into a poem or song lyric?
- There are so many reasons for despair right now. There's hunger, and war, and environmental disaster, and suffering of all kinds. It often seems that there are a dearth of good ideas. Sometimes we may feel that nobody cares – even that there's a lack of caring.
We don't want people telling us how to 'fix the world'. We have too many of those pious sentiments that don't do any of us good. The guys with the quick-fix solutions usually want something. They're always promising us they'll make the Bad go away, if only we'll give them absolute power over us. You know the kind we mean.
Instead, tell us about concrete situations where somebody did something that caused hope to spring up. Tell us how they did it. Share these with the Edited Guide. We need to know! Want an example? Take a look at this story. (There are many others in the Guide, but you can find them.)
- Fiction writers: can you show us hope in a handful of words? Videographers: want to try to capture the subject? Show us, don't tell us. Share your art.
We told you this was a hard challenge. It takes thought and more than a few mouseclicks. But we aren't on h2g2 to click mice, anyway. They wouldn't appreciate. Those mice paid good money to have us find out the Questions. Let's get busy on this one. If we all put our heads together, there might be a glimmer of hope.