Talkin’ Trouble sometimes draws inspiration from the causes or special interests highlighted for promotion during the calendar month of our blog post. Compared to other countries, the U.S. is big on these ‘national month’ designations. There are some truly obscure themes that create artificial opportunities to advance even the most unremarkable interests. April is one of the slower months, with only around 55 of these designations. Themes run the gamut, from the micro-niche ‘National Straw Hat’ and ‘Soft Pretzel Month’ to the more solemn and weighty ‘Parkinson’s Disease’ or ‘Autism Awareness Month.’ April as ‘National Month of Hope’ touches and inspires us more than any other label.

Hope is the antidote to despair. Hope implies faith in the future, a goal-focused orientation, and unyielding confidence. Hope can be elusive when there is so much opposition to our ideals. Progress feels impossible some days. It’s tough to see hard-won successes erased by a cultural backlash we can hardly believe. But hope animates TroubleMakers. It supports our belief that the world can and will be a better, more equitable, and fair place if we keep doing what we know is right every day. Our hope is inspired by so many; our giving partners and featured TroubleMakers; by you and like-minded people we meet, as well as by authors and artists we encounter through their books and music.

Trouble recently contacted musician, singer, and songwriter Iris DeMent for permission to call out one of her latest songs, “Workin’ On a World.” Her lyrics really hit us where we live. She promptly replied, “Absolutely!!! Please do!” Thank you for sharing your hope, Iris!

Another song we heard recently from the obviously-allied Alastair Moock is called “Be a Pain.” This artist often performs daytime shows for families sharing his hopeful musical message, entertaining and educating kids and parents alike. Moock inspires hope and encourages his listeners to be TroubleMakers for Good.

We’re inspired by California Representative and badass woman Katie Porter. She is a natural TroubleMaker. Her recently published book, “I Swear” is funny, candid, and hopeful. She was an underestimated single mom with a messy minivan who’s now also a Congressional dynamo, committed to putting families first and speaking truth to power. Go, Katie! Trouble loves your no-bullshit style. YOU and your whiteboard make us proud and give us hope.

If you need some convincing about the importance of hope in your world, read “Hope Rising: How the Science of HOPE Can Change Your Life.” This book’s description on Amazon reads: “Hope is much more than wishful thinking. Science tells us that it is the most predictive indicator of well-being in a person’s life. Hope is measurable. It is malleable. And it changes lives. In Hope Rising, Casey Gwinn and Chan Hellman reveal the latest science of hope using nearly 2,000 published studies, including their own research. Based on their findings, they make an impassioned call for hope to be the focus not only of our personal lives, but of public policy for education, business, social services, and every part of society.”

As crazy and regressive as things seem, Trouble believes there is always hope. The old white guys running things now will be replaced by the generation coming of age today. New leaders will have experienced their world in their own way. We bet they generally have a broader knowledge and experience of other people, places, and ways of being and relating to one another and themselves than many who’ve gone before them. The so-called Millennials and Gen Z-ers tend to be more aware of the universality of mental health challenges, the injustice of inequality, the perils of lax gun regulations, and the downside of rampant consumerism. These are the first generations in U.S. history to be less likely to do better economically than their parents. We hope they will come into leadership roles with a thirst for positive societal change. The soaring cost of housing and health care that keeps many from their aspirations may make them uniquely motivated to change unjust laws and callous, consumer culture.

TroubleMakers in the making…they are hope-inspiring. So, even if some of us who support and try to make Trouble of our own may not be here to see the full impact of our efforts, we hold out hope. The work is worthy and the beneficiaries will be grateful to stand on our shoulders as we stand on those of TroubleMakers who’ve gone before us.

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” John Lewis

Stay tuned for more insights and inspiration.

Share what you learn here with the TroubleMakers you know and love.


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