In The Impossible Will Take a Little While, a phrase borrowed from Billie Holliday, the editor of Soul of a Citizen brings together fifty stories and essays that range across nations, eras, wars, and political movements. Danusha Goska, an Indiana activist with a paralyzing physical disability, writes about overcoming political immobilization, drawing on her history with the Peace Corps and Mother Teresa. Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, finds value in seemingly doomed or futile actions taken by oppressed peoples. Rosemarie Freeney Harding recalls the music that sustained the civil rights movement, and Paxus Calta-Star recounts the powerful vignette of an 18-year-old who launched the overthrow of Bulgaria's dictatorship. Many of the essays are new, others classic works that continue to inspire. Together, these writers explore a path of heartfelt community involvement that leads beyond despair to compassion and hope. The voices collected in The Impossible Will Take a Little While will help keep us all working for a better world despite the obstacles.
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Everywhere I go in the country, people ask me if their efforts can really matter. I wrote this book to give people hope—drawing together some of the finest engaged writers in the world to explore what keeps us going in difficult times.
People say the book will be tremendously helpful for helping ordinary citizens replenish the wellsprings of their commitment and keep working for justice in this hard political time.
I've included pieces that explore the historical, political, ecological and theological frameworks that help us to persist—with concrete examples of how people have faced and overcome despair. Some directly address our current politics. Others examine how people persisted in the struggles of the past: what it was like to confront South African apartheid, Eastern Europe’s Communist dictatorships, or Mississippi's entrenched segregation.
Political hope and personal hope are intertwined, of course. What lets us work for change is related to what keeps us going day after day when our personal lives get difficult. So some pieces straddle both. But I’ve focused on the kind of hope that takes us beyond merely personally surviving and carving out the best private life we can. I believe The Impossible Will Take a Little While can help readers find common solutions and see the world clear-eyed—acknowledging the destructive power of greed, fear, and shortsighted expedience, resisting the temptations of complacency and sentimentality, yet continuing nonetheless, to work for change, remembering that hope, in the words of one of my authors, is acting in spite of the evidence, then watching the evidence change.
I think you’ll enjoy the bookAbout the Author:
Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen and three other books. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He is an associated scholar at Seattle's Center for Ethical Leadership and lives in Seattle, Washington.
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