The evening news is killing me.

California is still burning.

Florida is still deciding

The Mexicans are still hiding.

And wherever you go to worship, a synagogue or a bar, you better look over your shoulder and know your exits.

After being pummeled by the evening news this past week, I found it hard to hope. I mean, it seemed every story out shocked the next.

I’m not embarrassed to announce I have a man-crush on Bruce Springsteen. I find Bruce, despite all the sadness and loneliness he often writes about, incredibly hopeful. It appears that a soulful man, in a soulless world, is hard to find.

“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.”

Springsteen has taught me that when all seems lost– our most defiant act is hoping in the face of hopelessness.

Now Bruce and I are not talking about throw-roses-in the-rain or cross-your-fingers kind of hope. That’s foolish, arbitrary hope. We’re talking about the kind of hope that is birthed out of action. A blue collar hope.

I was recently asked how did I get through my initial diagnosis and the months of uncertainty that followed, and in some regards, still does.

Whether they realized it or not, my parents laid a workmen-like example for me to follow. If something was wrong, you simply work until it’s made right. The perseverance cultivates hope model,  is one I didn’t appreciate until I got sick.

For me, working is writing. And while you’re working, your hands grow calloused. You become more resolute, more resilient. And in doing so, your forging a blue collar hope, the kind of hope that will keep you swinging the hammer long into the darkest of nights

A hopeful person remains committed to their goals no matter how dire the circumstance appear to be.

The evening news is absurd. Your Facebook feed is skunked with tragedy. You look at your children and your paranoid. You wonder what type of world are they stepping into. You wonder how they’ll survive.

Here’s the truth: we are all going to die.

But it is the person who, despite their inevitable death, rolls up their sleeves and lets their work create hope, is the person who will find that peace and happiness  does exist in this mad, mad world.

Be well,