A New Dawn / Time to Hope?

Did you watch the Oprah Winfrey speech at The Oscars this year? If you didn’t, go find it on YouTube. If you did, go watch it again. Within it she spoke these gems:

“speaking your truth is the most powerful tool you have”

“The one quality [ that Oprah witnessed in all the people she interviewed, who had faced incredible hardships and challenges]  is the ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning,  even during the darkest night. I want all the girls listening to know that … a New Dawn is on the Horizon”

And this week’s Guilty Feminist podcast (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go google that one too- with the warning that there is a lot of swearing but it’s totally worth blotting that bit out…) is about Hope.

Deborah Francis White wrote a powerful speech, of which there are excerpts below. It needs sharing, far and wide, because we, the TLC team, alongside the likes of Oprah, Deborah and many more voices out there, dare to hope that 2018 will be the moment when the tide starts to turn to a better future:

(Guilty Feminist Podcast, released 22/01/2018, beginning at 20 minutes, 44 seconds)

“I am grateful every day that I have lived between the middle of the twentieth century and the middle of the twenty first century in the western world, having won the lottery of privilege with a ticket that says both white and straight for all practical purposes … There has probably never been a better time and place to be a woman since humans lived on the Savannah. I used to assume that things would be even better for women a hundred years from now, and even better a hundred years from then but lately that assumption has turned into a faltering hope … Hope is the chasm between things as they are and things as they should be. The canyon between the actual and the possible. Hope requires imagination. It is predicated on a careful awareness of things as they are, and a shedding of denial … Hope is predicated on dissatisfaction; a content person never changed the world. A satisfied person has never seen a Goliath and dared to craft the perfect slingshot … But hope without a plan of action is the doorway to depression.

Every time we turn what Is into what Could Be, we transform our hope into change. we must learn to change our hopes into actions and when that is done, hope again, act again, change again.

Hope that we can help women to have better lives. then volunteer at a rape shelter.
Hope that women of colour can be heard in a noisy world, then make it our job to amplify their voices.
Hope for more women in leadership roles, then mentor women and girls we know and love and pump them with confidence.

And any opportunities that are in our gift, or could be, if we hoped they were, and change things, so they would be.

That seems like too much for people like you and me to do. We are only us. We can hope, but can we dare? Sometimes I think no, not me, its too hard, I’ll be criticised, I’ll get it wrong, I don’t have time, where would I begin? And then I remember that my life now in 2017 is the direct design of the hopes of long dead women before me.

We live their hopes every time we walk down the street unchaperoned, un-corseted, un-censored. We live the hopes of our great grandmothers every time we decide if, when and how to have a child and each time we don’t die in childbirth. Because they hoped for the medical advances that are our normal. We live the hopes of the suffragettes and the demands of Maya Angelou. We live in a world where a woman can run New Zealand. …

We are the living manifestations of the hopes of women who are not breathing any more. We are the thing with feathers taken flight. We are what springs eternal. We are made of hope so we can live it, produce it, and shape it.”

2018 will be the year when ToastLoveCoffee is reborn into a new space and conversations will be crafted together for shared hopes and actions.

2018 will be the year when the voices of those of us without privilege are pumped with confidence by those of us with it, to share those stories and share power.

2018 will be the year when a new dawn will arise, in Leeds, at the very least.

published by Anna Dyson
Founder and Director of ToastLoveCoffee. CEO of Dyson family, Roundhay (Leeds) branch which involves a huge array of skills impossible to imagine or articulate! Formerly, Jewish educator and community professional.
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