The HOPE list #8
Bite-sized hopelets to warm your soul. With historic inspirations that are still fuelling our hopes for the present and future.
I’m fond of the word ‘august’ when used as an adjective to convey majestic, respected, or impressive. I don’t use it often – its air of pomposity makes it a poor choice in modern sentences. But I could not resist the delicious opportunity to celebrate undeniably august people and events from Augusts gone by for this month’s HOPE list. Enjoy.
1. Inspiring dreamers by Martin Luther King
On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The impact was immediate and profound, its place in history forever secured. Reading it again today, I was as moved and inspired as the first time, but differently. Each time I read it, it speaks to the present me, it energises the present me, it rouses me to deliver my present dreams.
Today, I noticed these words for the first time.
“This is no time to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
Read the whole speech here.
2. Extraordinary inventions by Wilbur and Orville Wright
There are some innovations that were so radical, so implausible, that pursuing them required more faith than reason. Believing that man could fly is one such invention. Every time I fly, I marvel that a 55-ton plane can get into the air and somehow stay there. I understand the theory, I have much first-hand experience of the reality, but it still feels unlikely!
Wilbur Wright, one-half of the pioneering aviation Wright brothers, was born in August 1871, and in August 1909 the Wright Flyer, was the first flying machine bought and put into service by a government. The US paid $25,000, plus a $5000 bonus because it went faster than the speed requirement of 40 mph. Wow!
3. Never giving up the fight – by Universal Suffrage
In August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed and prohibited denying the right to vote of US citizens on the basis of gender, over 40 years after the first women’s suffrage amendment was introduced.
I’m not sure if we should be shocked or pleased this was only 100 years ago. I am shocked and saddened that it did not, and has not, (yet) led to gender equality being an axis on which the world turns. But it is at least the guiding principle for most societies – so there is hope, and many, many fighters who keep on fighting.
4. Pursuing the facts by Climate scientists
In August 2021, the IPCC published its sixth report on the state of the climate. Their assessment was clear and supported by incontrovertible data – our climate is changing because of our actions. This is causing increasing damage to us and our planet, and we need to act today to limit the damage.
Climate scientists have been telling us the facts for many years; in August 1912 ‘Coal Consumption Affecting Climate’ was published in the Rodney and Otamatea Times.
We need to listen, we need to change, we need to act.
I leave you with a beautiful example – Environmental Graphiti uses art to visualise and communicate climate facts.
Yours Hopefully is an experiment in living hopefully. With music and musings, from a singer-songwriter-scientist. Why not subscribe and get a post every Sunday in your inbox?