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10 Things Bringing Us Hope, Peace, & Love in the New Year

By Crislin Christian

This month, our team answered the question, “At this particular moment in time, what do these words—hope, peace, and love—mean to you?” Read on to see some quotes, articles, and moments that are giving us good energy as we enter this new chapter together.

10. When our pets make guest appearances during our staff Zoom calls

Some of our beloved pets, Blue, Chase, and Lucky.

9. This quote from Sharon Salzberg's "Lovingkindness"

“To be truly happy in this world is a revolutionary act because true happiness depends on a revolution in ourselves. It is a radical change of view that liberates us so we know who we are most deeply and can acknowledge our enormous ability to love… Our own happiness can change history, and it does.”

Dina de Veer, Senior Associate

8. The opportunity to make new and better normal

My hope is that we begin to reshape the space for peace in 2021. Reshape the space for peace within us by laying aside our fears and finding joy in self-compassion. Reshape the space for peace between us by extending our embrace beyond the illusions that define you, me, and them. Reshape the space for peace among us by centering peace in our hopes, in what and who we love, and in how we chose to use our voice and take action.

Michael Arnold, Director

7. This James Baldwin quote from "The Evidence of Things Not Seen"

“If I speak to you, I want you to hear me—to hear me—and to see me. Speech and language, however ceremonious, complex, and convoluted, are a way of revealing one’s nakedness; and this revelation is, really, our only human hope.”

Anjie Rosga, Director

6. This tweet

5. This quote from Mahatma Gandhi

For many people, 2020 was one of the toughest years in history. Collectively, we lost so much. We lost our ability to hug people we love, we lost the ability to break bread with our friends and community, we grieved the loss of our pre-Covid routines, and for some of us, like me, we also lost loved ones to the Covid-19 pandemic. Through all of this grief, the word PEACE grounds me. In trying to find my peace, I remember the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi: “There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.”

Theresa Esparrago Lieu, Senior Associate

4. This reflection from Anand Giradharadas' words on falling

“This is not the chaos of the beginning of something. This is the chaos of the end of something.”

In working for an equitable, just world, we are working to create a society we have no lived experience of, which is pretty tough. As Anjie mentioned recently, this year, the “building the bicycle while riding on it” metaphor was pretty popular with our clients—and for some, it was really more like building the bicycle while riding on it in a world with no bike lanes and you’ve been given wheelbarrow parts instead of bicycle parts to work with. Anand’s piece reminds us that this work is hard, because it is so transformative and so historically unprecedented. That “we are falling on our face, because we are jumping so high.” Here’s to jumping really high in 2021 and to helping one another back up when we fall.

Caitlin Stanton, Senior Associate

3. The Expanding the Bench Advisory Team

The work that the Expanding the Bench Advisory Team (including our own Michael Arnold) is doing to advance strategies for culturally responsive and equitable evaluation and bring more justice into our field.

2. Our clients

We are inspired everyday by our clients and the dedication they bring to making our world healthier, more just, and more equitable.

1. Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Day poem, “The Hill We Climb”

“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.”