“What gives you #TangibleHope in the world today? How do your values and/or belief systems come into conversation with this #TangibleHope?
Spencer Sekulin, a student in the medical field:
#TangibleHope is…giving to others, without expecting anything in return.
Through the regular undulations of my existence, I have had the pleasure and the blessing of having volunteering be one of the things that remains certain, a complete given, amidst all of the incertitude and changes in the tempestuous anchorage we call life. It has given me a great deal of hope — that extraordinary trust we place in things beyond ourselves — in the world today, and that is no small thing in this certifiably pessimistic world. In the context of the faiths of humanity, and my own personal beliefs and values, it is a tangible hope in that brings us together regardless of who we are. Its unity of purpose, its immediate impact, and its subsequent reverberations, show the height of human cooperation.
Hope, to me, is seeing people from all walks of life, all creeds, all faiths, all ethnicities … choosing to give rather than to receive.
Thus, hope, to me, is seeing people from all walks of life, all creeds, all faiths, all ethnicities—almost every conceivable difference—working together and sacrificing their time—the most precious thing they have—to causes that help those in need, choosing to give rather than to receive. It is a true manifestation of a word that so few understand anymore. It may seem simple, and it is, but in its simplicity it has reaped extraordinary results, and shows that the measure of changing the world need not be so galactic.
Regardless of whether one believes in the Butterfly Effect, a term coined by Edward Lorenz, the notion itself is worth extending to our own lives, because if the movement of a butterfly’s wings can change the very nature of a hurricane, how much more can a unique, compassionate, and infinite human being shape the future through small acts on a consistent basis? Significantly, to say the least. This action is compounded, and there’s an urban legend that Albert Einstein once said, “compounding interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” Whether he really did say that is beside the point. If that can be applied to our manufactured notion of wealth, how much more can it apply to our lives, through consistent, disciplined action towards the future? I believe that one of the things that links people together the most, in spite of all boundaries, is the compassionate act of charity.
It may seem simple, and it is, but in its simplicity it has reaped extraordinary results, and shows that the measure of changing the world need not be so galactic.
I and many others find #TangibleHope to be that often unnoticed, regular commitment of time. Whether it is in a hospital, an old age home, or a shelter, it is a builder of trust in the future of humanity—of confidence in our ability to do right.
Spencer Sekulin is a student in Newmarket, Ontario, pursuing an education in the medical field. He has volunteered extensively in the healthcare and charity sectors and is interested in furthering his impact on both his local community and the world as a whole. He is also a writer, an incurable creative, and a hopeless sucker for cats.
Every month, the #TangibleHope Diaries series features responses from North American grassroots peacebuilders on what gives them tangible hope in the world today! Learn more here.