The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

We must not lose our audacity to hope

Four weeks ago, I wrote an article about how condoning Trump is condoning rape culture. 

I ended that article with words I felt were important and I want to repeat those words now: “We might be victims of this culture, but we are not victims of defeat.” 

I reread those words I had written today, as I tried to understand how this man could become our president. 

I re-read those words today and felt my heart—which had been numb ever since Trump officially won president-elect— twinge for the first time in over 12 hours. 

I re-read those words and remembered that I wrote them, and I still believe them. 

Many of us are the victims of the culture that Trump embodies, but after his election, we should be even more united. We should speak in solidarity with one another and refuse to lie down in defeat. 

We have to use our anger for what is good and just, to fight back against the pain and the hurt. We must use our voices to speak of love over and over again—because love is truly the only thing that conquers hate. 

When I started college four years ago, my freshman orientation class required me to write a paper on something I truly believed in. 

I spent a long time reflecting on what my beliefs were— and at the time, I was still so young that I did not really understand them all. However, I wrote that paper on something that got me through every rough patch that has come my way: hope. 

Hope has been my saving grace from the darkest moments in my life. I always have hope that there will be a better tomorrow, that this time will pass. I still believe this rings true today. 

Hope will carry us through this scary, uncertain future. Hope will be our safety net for the next four years.

Carol J. Farran, a professor at Rush University and a co-author of Hope and Hopelessness, said, “The person who is hopeless doesn’t have the strength to move forward.” 

Farran thinks we have to consciously work at developing and maintaining hope. She believes it is possible for hope and hopelessness to exist simultaneously, as we switch back and forth between those emotions.

Hope does not mean you have to be strong or optimistic, happy or joyful. Hope means refusing to give up or give in. Hope means giving yourselves the opportunity to breathe and move forward. 

Dr. Jerome Groopman, the author of Anatomy of Hope, writes, “There is an authentic biology of hope. Belief and expectation—the key elements of hope—can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine.” We truly can rely on hope to heal our hurt. 

Despite all our president-elect stands for, we must continue to believe in ourselves, and believe in the power of good and love. We must maintain our expectations that there is good in the world and that this is not the end. 

After all, according to CNN, Trump did not truly win the popular vote, just the electoral ones. We need to continue to love, and remember that it really can conquer hate. We must raise our expectations for our leaders, and make sure we are heard by them. 

Ultimately, we must mourn today, but hope for tomorrow. After all, President Snow from The Hunger Games said it best: “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective—a lot of hope is dangerous.” 

Be dangerous with your hope. I know I will be. 

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We must not lose our audacity to hope