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Anders and Kristine – creating hope out of reality

February 16, 2010

We met Anders and Kristine in Kochi, India.  After spending an hour together in a shared taxi from another town, we learned that they were both political science students from Denmark, and Anders was working at the graduate level looking at issues surrounding migration through the European Union.  Given their educational background, we were thrilled when they agreed to spend some time with us chatting about hope and about the future.  We found ourselves a lovely spot in a tropical garden, and chatted away amongst the chatter of surrounding birds.

They both felt that hope was something that needed to be cultivated – something that was necessary to cultivate.  While they have both felt moments where they lack belief that the world can improve, they both struggle to maintain some sense that individuals can make a difference in this world.  “If we give up hope…it will end up in apathy” says Anders.  I nod my head in understanding – I have gone down this road, and am trying to find my way back – so I listen carefully to what they have to say.

Despite their educational paths, neither Kristine nor Anders feel political processes are going to be our panacea – however they do point out some very important political shifts that have occurred recently that give cause for optimism.  Anders speaks of the EU, and how it’s existence makes war between European countries a near impossibility.  He points to this and other levels of international political cooperation as being modern phenomenon which demonstrate progress and political will toward peace and stability.  Kristine also points out how environmental concerns have become immensely more prominent on the political stage over the past few years – a result, she believes, of efforts made by a few concerned and passionate individuals.

Overall however, neither feels that the solutions to humanity’s problems lie in the political realm.  Kristine finds that most of her hope comes from believing that individuals can evolve into giving and compassionate beings.  She believes that if each individual is able to find a way to be happy with one’s own self, that will provide the energy for them to give to others.  “If everyone did that, and approached the world with optimism…and asked ‘what can I do for the world?’ instead of ‘what can the world do for me?’…it would be a revolution!” says Kristine.

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