choosing joy / work

Hope is a Strategy

“It’s not a matter of being correct, but of being connected.”
– Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality

This little quote has been tumbling around in my heart and my brain for several days now. It think it’s because I’ve been yearning for something that has been missing from my current job. On the day that I started, I remember telling friends and family that I really missed my old co-workers. I didn’t feel connected. Instead I felt alone. Without a support group.

As time has passed, I’ve come to see that much of my current workplace is obsessed with being unequivocally correct. In the main conference room hangs a sign that says “Hope is not a Strategy.” Egos are large. People do not speak to one another. There is a huge preoccupation with being right, doing things “as they’ve always been done,” and avoiding scrutiny. While some people are just afraid of being wrong, others just avoid input from others because they think it’s easier.

The result? A quiet office place. A culture that relies on excessive amounts of meetings because no one person will take the risk to make a decision on their own. The fear of failure and scrutiny is too great. After all, without Hope as a Strategy, there is little to hang on to.

“It doesn’t have to do with being perfect. I has to do with staying in relationship, holding onto union as tightly as God holds onto you, staying in there. The one who knows all and receives all, as a mirror does, has no trouble forgiving all.”

Rohr’s quote reminds me of another way of doing things. If we each choose to be connected to others, to see people for other equal parts of divinity, if we believe in the inherent good in all people, an amazing thing happens. We enter into right relationships. If we believe in goodness, we are met with goodness. If we come from a place of hope, love, and grace, we find ourselves met with the same. If we practice forgiveness, we are granted forgiveness.

In these last four days at this job, I am trying my hardest to remember that Hope is indeed a Strategy. Hope grows in communities who enter into good relationships with each other. When we can create and stay in unions, can rely on each other, carry each other, we pass Hope on to others. This Hope is one of the things that makes a difference in our lives, and in the lives of others. And it’s Hope that I want to share, to spread, and to hold on to.

How have you spread hope?