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Why Hope Is Essential to Latin America’s Future

Date: Monday, January 27, 2020 7:12 AM EDT

Hope in Latin America

Credit for the genesis of this article belongs to Maria Jose Bernal, a tireless young activist for liberty and FEE alum in the South American nation of Colombia. Maria assembled large audiences at various schools for me to speak to in Medellin last November. Within an hour of picking me up at the airport, Maria expressed a wish:

Larry, we must find hope here in Latin America. So much is going in the wrong direction. If you can give us hope, then you should write the article that does just that. We really need it!

Maria is one of those truly good and admirable people I mentioned above. Her convictions are strong and her character is solid so I know she will not give up no matter how rough the going ever gets. She is, I am quite certain, a life-long crusader for people to be free. She knows that liberty is worth fighting for because as much as anything, it makes life worth living. Though it can hardly be obvious to her today, her perseverance will likely inspire dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in the years to come.

Wherever you live, if you love liberty you must have hope. Here are some reasons why:

Hope Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

It makes you work harder for your goals. Give up and you cede the field to the opposition without a fight. The opposite of hope is hopelessness and I know of no context in which hopelessness improves matters.

Hope Is Healthy

People who have hope are better off mentally, spiritually, and physically because of it. Despair and pessimism drag us down in every way, making it even harder to prevail. Hope and a sense of humor go hand in hand: If we can laugh at our predicaments because we have confidence that we can overcome them, we reduce stress and blood pressure.

Hope Conquers Fear

Very little that’s worthwhile is attained easily and if it is, it probably won’t be valued highly. What’s both worthwhile and highly valued—and this is especially true for liberty—often produces enemies who don’t want you to have it. You can fear them and thereby be disabled; or you can overcome them with the confidence to resist.

Hope Helps Keep the Conscience Clear

If I knew I had given up on the principles I knew to be right, it would forever haunt my soul. That inner voice we call a conscience would never cease to remind me that I had surrendered. For your own peace of mind, hope for a better future and pitch in to make it happen!

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