From Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit:
“Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty there is room to act. … It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.”
This reminds me of a quote by Mr Rogers that I love:
“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
And, also from Hope in the Dark:
“Most of us would say, if asked, that we live in a capitalist society, but vast amounts of how we live our everyday lives – our interactions with and commitments to family lives, friendships, avocations, membership in social, spiritual, and political organisations – are in essence noncapitalist or even anticapitalist, full of things we do for free, out of love, and on principle.
“In a way, capitalism is an ongoing disaster anticapitalism alleviates, like a mother cleaning up after her child’s messes (or, to extend the analogy, sometimes disciplining that child to clean up after itself, through legislation or protest, or preventing some of the messes in the first place … ). Activists often speak as though the solutions we need have not yet been launched or invented, as though we are starting from scratch, when often the real goal is to amplify the power and reach of existing alternatives. What we dream of is already present in the world.”