Future of Hope

This past year has held layers of loss and grief and rupture as well as tectonic shifts of opening and learning and possibility. We walk into a world trying to open up, fitfully, that we must in many ways remake. At On Being, we’re feeling called to walk alongside others listening, asking and leading. So in the year ahead we are going to be bringing a stunning array of voices having the conversations they want to be hearing now.

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Pico Iyer is an esteemed journalist and essayist, and an explorer of inner life — for himself and in 21st-century society. For this episode in our Future of Hope series, he draws out writer Elizabeth Gilbert and “her sense of hope based not on a confidence in happy endings, but the conviction that something makes sense — even if not a sense that we can grasp.” Pico’s questions and Liz’s answers are all the more poignant given that both of them have recently suffered deep losses. These two friends delve into what it means to retreat into smallness, and grapple with a complex understanding of hope, as the world continues to overwhelm.

We’re in a time as thick with uncertainty as with possibility. Many of us are still, and again, exhausted — and yet opening, fitfully, to what we’ve learned and have been called to at this moment in the life of the world. Toward nourishing that, the second offering in our new series, The Future of Hope, with social creative Darnell Moore in conversation with filmmaker dream hampton. The influence they wield spans hip-hop to Netflix to the Oscars; from the Movement for Black Lives to Surviving R. Kelly.

It is an honor to enter this tender, intimate conversation between two dear friends. In them we experience a muscular hope in justice oriented toward redemption — and calling out in a spirit of “calling in.”

An irreverent conversation about hope between journalist Wajahat Ali and theologian Kate Bowler. They speak to this moment we’re in through the friendship they found on the edge of life and death that is cancer — Wajahat through his young daughter; and Kate with a stage 4 diagnosis at the age of 35 that she’s chronicled in a beloved memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved). Their conversation is rich with practical wisdom for facing uncertainty and mortality, losses we did not foresee, and new beginnings we would not have chosen.

This is the first in a new series, The Future of Hope — a beautiful array of voices, former guests on this show, having the conversations they want to be hearing in this time.

This past year has held layers of loss and grief and rupture as well as tectonic shifts of opening and learning and possibility. We walk into a world trying to open up, fitfully, that we must in many ways remake. At On Being, we’re feeling called to walk alongside others listening, asking and leading. So in the year ahead we are going to be bringing a stunning array of voices having the conversations they want to be hearing now. 

We’re calling this series The Future of Hope: Wajahat Ali with Kate Bowler; Darnell Moore with dream hampton; Pico Iyer with Elizabeth Gilbert; Ai-jen Poo with Tarana Burke; plus David Treuer, Claudia Rankine, Brother Guy Consolmagno, Katherine May, and many more.

We’ll begin on Sept. 16. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, or wherever you listen.

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