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It feels foolish lately. It’s as if everyone now believes being caught out hoping for a better world can only leave you vulnerable and disappointed. In all the great battles of our time, it feels like all we get is losers on all sides. And perhaps this is true on a global level. Hoping for a change in circumstances is always perilous.

But what if we learn to separate the circumstances we’re stuck with from our assessment of whether or not there is anything to hope for? If my hope for today is that I can show kindness and generosity to someone, it’s pretty safe to feel optimistic about my chances.