When I was a kid, every once in a while one of us would give birth to an idea, you know, "Hey, I got an idea! I got a great idea!"
And we'd all start fleshing it out, turning the thread into a colorful coat, "I'll sell lemonade to raise money," "I can make tee-shirts," "I'll make some signs, and Bessie can put'em on light poles on her way to Brownies," and our heart would quicken with euphoria.
We didn't know yet that we were experiencing hope. That's what hope feels like.
Then we would rush to tell the grownups and one of them would inevitably chuckle with his first breath, "Noohoho, you can't do that. We couldn't afford it, and you're too young even if we could."
We would argue our case for a while, then be rebutted, dismissed, denied. And then we'd get more good ideas later, but they were just pipe dreams too, "That's not gonna happen!"
And after a while we quit coming up with new ideas that we thought would make everything better and make more sense and make us happier, because our good ideas were just dreams, illusions, fantasies, fairy tales. Grow up. This is how it is, the way it's always been and it's not about having fun trying out wild-eyed schemes! Do what we've been doing regardless of how destructive and cruel and selfish and greedy it is!
So we started to forget what hope felt like. We started forgetting to hope.
When Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg were kids, for example, someone came into their school and killed some of their classmates. They heard it all, saw lots of it, their friends gone forever, fucking teenagers, and then Emma and David and many of their classmates and friends got a good idea.
"Let's organize. Let's march for our lives. This must never happen again. I can help raise the money. I can make a speech, you give interviews, and you, over there, can organize marches, and this will never happen again, never" and they spent many, many hours on their beautiful, courageous plan, and grownups ridiculed them and doubted their sincerity and claimed they were actors, then election day came, and too many people shook their heads and said, "Noohoho, that's not gonna happen. The Second Amendment says we can have our AR-15s and we need them because an invasion is only 700 miles away. All kinds of bad people coming our way."
So maybe Emma and David and their friends are starting to lose hope.
I hurt for them and for all the young who just lost a little more hope. And I hurt for me, settling in for years more of tax breaks that we can't afford, continued trashing of the environment, vilifying of "aliens" and people of color and of non-Republican sexual mores and tolerating two of our major "leaders" panting happily in the lap of the most offensive human being ever to soil the White House.
I am now quite old, and grownups keep telling me "Noohoho."
But I gotta hope. When the grownups start draining your hope, it leads to disillusionment, then to despair, and then inaction, which then gives them the control they so desperately crave.
Honestly, though, I don't know what to do next. I hope somebody gets a good idea and quick.