There is much wrong with the world and society, at the local level as well as nationally and beyond. It is easy to fall into despair at local or international environmental destruction, human hatred for others and social injustice. Furthermore, on an individual level, we can sometimes think that our actions won’t count, or there’s nothing one person can do to help change the situation. We may think we’re the only one who thinks that X is bad, or Y shouldn’t happen.
But, before despair takes over, there is hope. It can take many forms, including formal and informal groups and many types of non-violent actions, such as Gandhi’s Satyagraha (insistance on truth – see also satya, truth, as one of the yama of yoga philosophy).
Locally to me there is a peace and justice street choir called ‘Côr Gobaith‘ which is Welsh for Choir of Hope. Formed in 2006, they recently held their 10th anniversary with a concert and celebration. The concert was a lovely way to listen to their moving songs of hope, peace and justice, as well as feel part of something that tries to act positively to achieve change, however small that may be. They sing on the streets of Aberystwyth once a month, raising money for different charities, and also sing at appropriate local and national events. You can watch a compilation of their first 10 years on YouTube, or follow them on Facebook. Further afield in the UK there are many other groups who focus on a more hopeful future e.g. Hope Not Hate, and Positive News.
Wherever you are in the world, there will be similar like-minded people. Yogic philosophy centres around the inter-connectedness of everything. Engaging with movements who are working towards more just and peaceful societies brings yoga off the mat and into our daily lives.