Hope is like the oxygen that propels our lungs in the midst of deep inhales and exhales. Hope creates a space for us to be able to see clearly. It creates expectancy that no matter what has happened in the past or what it looks like is happening in the present, something beautiful is possible. On the trip, hope was hidden in the mundane moments of the everyday. It was in the little things that caught my attention unexpectedly.
The first morning in Barcelona, I was taken by surprise by the intentionality of the people on the bus. After catching our breath from the sandy jaunt to the bus stop, all eighteen of us piled on ready to see the city. I first noticed the shock of the daily commuters as the bus was suddenly much fuller than before. As we got closer to our destination, however, I noticed something else—something more peculiar for the world of public transit (at least to the public transit I know). The daily commuters were getting up and giving away their seats. They weren’t annoyed or hesitant—they graciously moved for those just getting on. The week went on and I continued to watch. That first morning wasn’t an exception or an enforced rule. It continued. I saw conversations amongst friends and strangers and I saw a society that does things very differently from my own.
Each time this happened, I was given a little hope to carry through my day—and a little more hope in humanity. It made me think about how simple it can be to make the world a better place. It answered a question that I had been asking: what is needed where I am right now? There are big problems that need big solutions. But people right in front of us need to be seen—and so does something a bit different than the morning headlines.