From Defeat to Hope

I’m writing this moments after the Seahawks first round playoff loss to the Cowboys. My heart is broken, as it is every year when we do not win the Super Bowl, but that is the case for fans of every team except the world champs each year.

However, I look back to what prognosticators were projecting before the year began. Take a look at this article outlining their “expert” predictions. 5-11, 4-12, the worst record in football (i.e. the first pick in the 2019 draft). Ugh!

The Seahawks saw many players depart in the off season. Jimmy Graham, Richard Sherman, and Michael Bennett were released. Cliff Avril retired with a neck injury and Kam Chancellor has been on indefinite IR for the same, and Earl Thomas was holding out. No one gave the team much chance of winning, but as always, Pete Carroll believed. He had faith in what he has been building over the last several years.

He had hope.

Now I’m watching post-game interviews with players and coaches. None are despondent, nor have regret. They are optimistic. They all say they can learn from this experience and come out better on the other side. They have hope.

In Pete’s weekly press conference from mid-December he said the following:

I don’t think there’s anything more crucial than hope. It starts with passion and perseverance and resilience. And with resilience comes hope. That you think that something is going to happen for the positive. It’s that hope that helps you hang through. We know that something good is going to happen if we keep battling. Nothing is more important than hope.

I feel like we are in a time in this world when many people are losing hope. There is much negativity and division. At Koné Consulting we work with agencies that are trying to fix some of what is broken in our world. Homelessness, hunger, poverty. Some days are difficult, but when I’m having one of those days, I think that if what we are doing helps one person in a time of need – if we can give them hope – it is all worth it.

In 2018 we worked with a local city agency in their endeavor to address homelessness in their area. As part of the work, we sought out people experiencing homeless and asked if we could talk with them. All were willing to speak with us and in spite of their circumstances, they were kind, honest and time and again, they expressed gratitude that someone, anyone, cared enough to ask about them.

As we enter into a new year, I encourage you to find ways to show compassion for other living beings, even in the smallest way. Engage in a conversation with someone less fortunate than you. Adopt a shelter animal. Donate food, money or time to a food bank. Volunteer somewhere. Talk with an immigrant about their experience. Offer to sit with an elderly person who is eating alone. Carry a few granola bars in your car and give them to people on street corners holding signs saying they’re hungry.

Small acts of kindness go a long way. It will give others hope and will do the same for you as well. And couldn’t we all use a little more hope right now?