A Poem on Hope by Emily Dickinson
Going into 2024 with Hope for a Better Future
Happy Holidays Nerds!
Looking back 2023, I think it is safe to say that this year did a number on most of us. We witnessed the heights of inflation, the crash of crypto, relentless mass layoffs across tech, the despair of wars, and a rude awakening to the realisation of the existential threat posed by AI, while still not waking up to the existential threat posed by climate change (despite many rude awakenings). So yeah, in retrospect, a great year.
But as you wake up to this Christmas morning (and open up this newsletter, he said hopefully) I pray the following poem by the famous poet Emily Dickinson fill you up with hope for 2024.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
2023 tested our resilience in the face of inflation, crypto crashes, wars, and existential threats from AI and climate change.
Dickinson's metaphor of hope as a bird "that perches in the soul" is a gentle yet powerful image. It reminds us that, amidst the chaos and uncertainties of the past year, hope has remained a constant, albeit sometimes quiet, presence.
As we navigated the highs and lows, this "thing with feathers" continued to sing its tune without pause. It was there during the heights of inflation, in the midst of the crypto market's free-fall, during the relentless job-cuts across the tech industry, and amidst the despair of global conflicts.
In her poem, Dickinson speaks of hope's sweetest sound being heard in the gale. This resonates deeply with our experiences in 2023. It was in our most challenging moments that we felt the true essence of hope. Just as a storm cannot abash the little bird, the trials we faced could not quell the hope residing within us. This resilience, this refusal to be silenced by adversity, is what we need to carry forward into 2024.
As we stand on the threshold of a new year, it is time to harness this hope. The hope that whispered to us in our "chillest lands" and across our "strangest seas" now calls for action. In 2024, it is not just about weathering storms but about rebuilding in their wake. The reconstruction and consolidation efforts we embark upon must be underpinned by the hope that sustained us.
This means actively working towards solutions for the challenges we've faced. Be it through innovative approaches to economic recovery, reimagining the future of digital currencies, fostering peace, or addressing the urgent call of climate action and the ethical use of AI, our path forward is lit by the glow of hope.
As Dickinson beautifully concludes, hope asks nothing in return. Yet, it fuels our journey. As we step into 2024, let's allow hope to guide our efforts in rebuilding and consolidating what broke down in 2023. It's time to transform hope's quiet song into a chorus of action, resilience, and renewal.
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