Those who have never despaired have neither lived nor loved. Hope is inseparable from despair. Those of us who truly hope make despair a constant companion whom we outwrestle every day owing to our commitment to justice, love, and hope. It is impossible to look honestly at our catastrophic conditions and not have some despair - it is a healthy sign of how deeply we care. It is also a mark of maturity - a rejection of cheap optimism.
To be wise is to opt for a costly hope, an earned hope, a blues-inflected hope that grapples with despair. Yet like Jacob wrestle with the angel of darkness in the midnight hours in Genesis 32:34, we emerge with new energy from our wounds, new wisdom from our scars, and a new name from our bruises, equipped with a new armour of truth and justice.
Dr. Cornel West: Hope on a tightrope