Courage for Our Friends

" ... despair is for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not." —J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Fellowship of the Ring

For all those feeling hopeless after the election result: Your feelings are your feelings and you have every right feel them as long as you need to — so feel free to stop reading now if you're not ready to move beyond that feeling just yet.

In the hopes that this will provide some comfort, though: The truth of the universe is that we have a highly imperfect picture of what the future ACTUALLY holds, no matter how much we think we know how any particular events or actions are going to play out. So to go through the next few months or the next 4 years in a posture of hopelessness (i.e., despair) will not help you protect all the individuals and groups of people who have more to fear today than they did on Tuesday morning —and standing together in protection of all threatened and marginalized people is what is called for now.

Even more fundamentally, though, despair is actually an epistemological mistake. By definition, empirically and undeniably, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.

(this is, incidentally, more or less the definition of faith, but as I've tried to explain it's also an unambiguous truth that doesn't require faith)

Finally, as Eowyn tells Merry: "Courage, Merry. Courage for our friends." No matter what we look like, how we worship, or who we love, we all need to find the courage and be ready in the days ahead to fight for those who don't look like us, worship like us, or love like us.