In the history of the world, there has probably never been a New Year that was not met with hope. Even in its darkest moments, humanity collectively meets 12:01am, January 1st, with hope for something better.
Many of you reading this now have a real reason to roll your eyes at this sentiment. Some of you have lost love. Some have lost their careers. Some are hungry. Some have been accused. Some are oppressed by anxiety, living with constant pain, isolated, friendless. Some go through each day feeling intolerant eyes on their body. Some have been drowned in criticism. Some have been denied their identity.
Life is hard and sometimes overwhelmingly so. But hope is a stubborn plant that eternally springs up again.
A friend told me recently, gently in my ear and through my tears, “Things always work out. Always, always.” I could have asked him what proof he had for this hopeful statement. Instead, I just took the hope and walked away happier. Like Jim Carrey’s character in Dumb & Dumber after being told by his beautiful love interest that his chances with her are one in a million, something inside me says: “So, you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance!”
Okay, yes, I’m an optimist. But I’d argue that even the most cynical among us feels an existential desire to change what is hurtful or to clear up confusion. To heal, mend, fix, and see things more clearly. To believe things can improve, however remote the chance. Our most frightening adversaries are the ones that create chaos, pain, and confusion. We hope that our heroes can make it better. We feel joy when they do. We identify with their quest.
For this issue of Colorado Springs Magazine, we were privileged to interview a series of five people whose individual passion makes them a channel for hope in our community. A dedicated and compassionate trial attorney who goes the extra mile for his clients. A brilliant chef who is bringing creative new flavors to our culinary scene. A humble non-profit director who is an absolute force of nature in the fight against high suicide rates in Colorado Springs. A cheerful team of doctors who are doing free hand surgery for the uninsured. And a politician who is anything but green in terms of experience and undiluted love for this city.
Meeting these inspiring people reminded me that we often find the most hope in each other. In the choices we make to fight against the odds. To protect and defend each other. To offer support in the midst of despair. Or simply to provide comfort with a beautiful meal.
So, Happy New Year, Colorado Springs. Here’s to you. And remember: there’s always a chance.