Kathleen Falk in a 2012 interview with Gannett Wisconsin Media.
Maybe it is because I just finished a semester teaching students at the University of Wisconsin, and I am reassured - in fact, inspired by -the next generation. I know they will move the ball forward.
Maybe it is because we have a president with the courage to lead and who has taken on the fights that matter like ensuring we have common sense immigration reform and that tens of million citizens who have gone without health insurance can finally get better health care.
Or maybe it is because on the not so distant horizon I can see a woman as president: Run Hillary, run!
I have so much hope for America's future!
Yet here in our state, there seems to be so little to inspire us or be hopeful about. There is one more extreme measure after another advanced by the Republican leadership, so out of sync with what citizens want that even some Republican legislators and far-right radio talk show hosts are balking.
Here's just a partial list:
? Rejecting millions of federal dollars for better health care for tens of thousands of people
? Onerous constraints on women to make it harder for us to exercise our private right to choose
? Restrictions to make it harder for people to exercise their fundamental right to vote
? Lots more new money for private schools and very little new money for public schools that serve 870,000 kids
? Approval for the use of bounty hunters
? Prohibitions against state law enforcement officers enforcing federal laws
? Micromanaging local government
? Selling land purchased for public enjoyment under the popular land stewardship program
These measures - many of which will soon be signed into law - do not represent the values or priorities of most Wisconsinites.
The political atmosphere, in which these measures are generated and debated, is increasingly hostile. There is so much cynicism, so much fear of the "other side" and so little progress made.
Cynicism and fear paralyze us - and problems don't get solved.
It is hope and optimism that move us to act. And that's what I'm urging you to focus on.
Gandhi said it isn't important what you do; it is important to do something.
Plant a community garden or plant a new thought in the mind of the neighbor you never agree with. Volunteer at a nearby homeless shelter or senior center. Coach a youth team or take a kid fishing. Run a 5k for charity, or run for office - just go out and do something!
If our state leaders won't act to inspire us and solve problems, let's inspire each other. Choose hope.