Small Reasons for Hope

Around this time of year, some combination of the weather and too much time spent reading the New York Times gets me down—it’s just a depressing time. So, on the off chance that there are Lilith blog readers who also experience the same seasonal malaise, a brief list of things about which we can have some hope.

1. The inauguration. While kind of a “duh,” it’s worth going the nearest mirror and saying to yourself, “Barack Obama is my president.” If that doesn’t work, switch it up to “George W. Bush is no longer president.” You may feel yourself strangely compelled to whistle, click your heels together and greet strangers on the street warmly. Do not be alarmed.

(Going to the inauguration? Leave your “I was a Jewish feminist at the Obama inauguration story on the wall of Lilith’s Facebook page, for the rest of us—or at least me—to peruse enviously.)

2. Ceasefire in Gaza. Unfortunately unilateral? Yes—although now that it’s underway, Hamas and others have agreed to cease hostilities. Nothing’s been solved, but a ceasefire is without a doubt the first step towards a slightly more lasting solution. Furthermore, Egypt and Turkey seem particularly interested in being involved in the process from this point forward, which is fantastic. I’m a big believer in the concept that peace negotiations (or more permanent ceasefire ones, for that matter) have a better chance of success when they’re negotiated in as multi-lateral a way as possible.

3. SCHIP. Arisen from the oldies-but-goodies graveyard, this important piece of legislation, passed by the House and vetoed by Bush not once but twice, will improve health care for American children. It passed 289-139 in the House on Wednesday, and there’s just about no more Bush administration to shoot it down again. The incomparable and much-lauded Nate Silver notes that the numbers this round reflect not only the Dem’s amazing job in the 2008 elections, but a general change of heart in our capital. I’m for it.

4. Heartwarming Plane Crash and Rescue in the Hudson. Maybe it’s just local news, but when a plane full of people crash lands in the river a few blocks from your office and everybody is fine…well, it’s another reason to get out of bed in the morning.

5. Global Warming Has Not Yet Won. For those of us in the parts of the country getting some grossly cold weather recently, it’s, well, cold comfort, but it gives me hope that the fight against global warming and our imminent self-destruction might yet be won. Now is a good time to start reading up on the stimulus package we’ve all been dreaming of; it’s got a lot of provisions for renewable energy, and we all owe it to ourselves and the next generations to work for even more.

What have I left off of this list? Fill us in on your own additions.

–Mel Weiss.