Making Hope HappenI often wear a little necklace that is a heart with one word written on it – that word is hope. It has always reminded me that I have the power to make things better. (That made me sound a lot sweeter than I am – I also wear it because it’s pretty cool)

When I heard (from a friend) about a book on the subject of Hope,  you know I had to read it. I was a little skeptical – but was soon proved wrong, Making Hope Happen is a wonderful combination of logic, science, and emotion – Not just why, but how, and what next. Dr Shane Lopez is a rare creature, a scientist who understands people and how they think, not just in academia but in the real word and the real life we all live. This isn’t just a book that explains and defines hope in one of the clearest ways I’ve ever encountered but a workbook for change that can be used by parents, communities, and educators, – or as I call them – People. (It’s always about the people, people.I was lucky enough to sit down with Dr Shane and talk to him a bit this week – he’s originally a local boy (from New Iberia, LA) and in real life he is exactly the man you meet in the book (maybe a little cooler – by the way he dresses you’d think he was a graphic designer.) I got to spend the rest of the day casually mentioning that I’d just had coffee with the world’s preeminent expert on hope. I asked him why he’d written the book, and he smiled as though it was obvious “To spread hope”- after 18 years of practical research he felt like he finally had enough data to make a difference. As he writes in the book:

My message seems simple to me now, but it took me more than a decade to figure it out:

Hope Matters.

Hope is a Choice.

Hope can be learned.

Hope can be shared with others.

For those of you in the area he is having a book signing this Saturday at The Lab – so you can grab a copy and meet Shane yourself. I have a feeling there will also be some great discussions had and a few interesting comments made (yes, I will be there). If you care about your future or the future of your community you should probably be there. If you don’t then the coffee is great, and you get to hang out with some cool people. As Shane would say – here’s an amazon link to the book, but buy it from a local bookstore if you can. I hope to see you on Saturday (see what I did there?) – sign up here

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy