As the election season mercifully draws to a close today, I'm thinking about the sermon at church this past Sunday. It was about election ad fatigue and how it is not so very hard to get beaten down by the advertisements and feeling like a lot of bad stuff will happen if the other side wins.
This is a quote from the piece the sermon was based on:
"My husband will say on those occasions when the weight of the world is closing in and the evidence against hope mounts as I read the news, when I start confusing cynicism with pragmatism, and I sigh, “I’m so tired, I’m so discouraged”—he’ll say, in the kindest way: “What kind of entitled grandiosity of privilege is this, to think that you or I or anyone has the right to sever the bright thread of hope, the tradition of dedication to the common good and faith in the people’s power to imagine great change and great risks and then take them; the beautiful, proud history of work for human rights and freedom? We’re only here to pass it on,” he’ll say. “All you have to do is keep the fire burning for a little while, and pass it on. You have no right to put it out.” Not in so many words, but that’s about what Ross will say."
I was kind of relieved to hear things put that way. May we not confuse cynicism with pragmatism.