Days of Darkness

Many of us feel darkness surrounding us socially, as well as physically. We feel the lengthening shadows of intolerance, scapegoating, and bigotry. These dark forces seem ascendant. How can we possibly remain hopeful?

South Africa’s Desmond Tutu, no stranger to such situations, said this:

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."

So where is this reputed “light”?

Precious Brightness

Novelist Kate DiCamillo, in her acclaimed novel (later made into an animated film) The Tale of Desperaux, points to a form of light familiar to every reader of this article:

“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Tell...a story. Make some light.”

I believe DiCamillo is right, in two ways:

  1. The content of so many stories describes hopefulness, often in the midst of despair.
  2. The very act of telling a story creates experiences that fight against small-mindedness and hate.

How Can the Process of Storytelling Spread Hope?

Storytelling itself is built of the very stuff of hope, including:

  • Imagination
  • Sharing
  • Compassion
  • Responsive acts of relationship

Storytelling evokes all this below the radar, often below the consciousness of all participants in the creating, learning, and telling of a story.

Let's Promote Values—Through Storytelling

What if we were able to consciously heighten this “subversive” message of hope that is implicit in the storytelling process? What if we could be part of a movement of people, in all parts of society, dedicated to spreading a vision of humanity as creative, cooperative, supportive, and connected?

Wouldn’t that help us join together in acts of hope? Please post your responses as comments below.

Yours in light and hope,


Doug Lipman 

P.S., Want to read more about how to use storytelling to spread the "values of the future'?

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