Books for Hope in a Tragic World
These books for hope in a tragic world are needed in the present day. Turn off the news. You can’t help others if you feel despairing yourself. Writer Paul Kingsnorth believes there is no benefit to reading or watching the news, it’s ‘an avalanche of angry opinion, telling you what you ought to think about it, and how to act in response’.
Being optimistic is not being the same as annoyingly happy people! Things aren’t looking great, to be sure. You can’t remain ‘upbeat’ when animals are suffering, the planet is burning and people are needlessly dying. Often due to government ineptitude or greed. The recent idea that you should ‘avoid negative people’ means everyone happily hops off into the sunset, leaving the poor, oppressed, bewildered, grief-stricken and clinically depressed to their own devices. If ‘like attracts like’; they will all attract each other, and be even worse. How is that good?
- Who Cares Wins is by former supermodel Lily Cole (who holds an MA from Cambridge University and Doctor of Letters for contribution to environmental issues). She offers alternatives to fast fashion & food, and fossil fuels (she’s also a fan of adopting unwanted babies). Some says she should be ‘world controller!’
- Happiness is a book by French Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who graduated in molecular genetics, before becoming a Buddhist monk (he gives all profits from books to his local Himalaya charities). Although his brain has been found in tests to indeed ‘light up more’ than others, he is not a fan of being called ‘the happiest man in the world’. He says anyone can be inwardly content as him, by living a kind balanced life.
- The Optimist’s Telescope looks ahead to a happier time, instead of succumbing to instant gratification of present culture, economic and politics. We are so engulfed in mass media that many people forget how to make good decisions for ourselves. Using examples of hurricanes and wildfires (that turn deadly for communities that have not taken precautions), Bina sees a better way ahead.
- You Are Incredible (just as you are) is a journal by Emily Coxhead, founder of The Happy Newspaper. Emily reports on stories of those who are making a difference.
When you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried. But you’ve actually been planted. Christine Caine