Part of the social contract is holding hope

For most people right now, emotions are all over the place. Mine included. Keeping regulated and calm is key— and how do we do that? Through routine, schedules, self-care, self-love, holding our emotions and self as important and holding other people’s emotions and selves as important. AND… HOLDING HOPE!

Right now, there are a lot of people who are getting really upset about their freedom being taken away, as if there is a permanent stripping away of people’s rights rather than something put in place to help us all be well.

Some of us will die from COVID-19 and some will get it and live through it with major or minor complications and some will not get it. This is a reality.

A social contract is everyone living in a way that we can all survive. It means we can go to school or to the mall or the bank or the store without being killed and without killing someone else. We refrain from killing others and they refrain from killing us. On a less extreme level, it is us not punching someone when we’re out shopping and them not punching us.

So, what does that mean when we’re in a pandemic and some people are really having a strong “fight, flight, freeze” response of fighting and demanding they be allowed to go back to work, to the bar, to hang out in close proximity with people who might pass them the virus?

In some light, it may seem that some people have given up caring or maybe it’s that they care a lot, about life and they don’t want to imagine things being like this forever.

Wherever you are in the range of responses, I invite you to hold hope. Maybe you are one of the people protesting or maybe you are watching the protestors, afraid that they are breaking the social contract. Whatever you feel, I invite you to hold hope.

Today I want us to write that hope. In writing about it, I want you to try to use five of the following things:

  1. Your favorite person you haven’t seen recently
  2. Your favorite color- and expand on that, the color of what?
  3. Your favorite thing to look at outside your window
  4. Your favorite sound or song or a sound that makes you feel good right now
  5. A scent or smell that soothes you right now
  6. One item that is special to you that someone gave to you
  7. A loved one
  8. Words you sometimes think but don’t say aloud
  9. A superstition
  10. A dream you have for yourself.

Write using five of the above listed things in what you write about hope right now.


  1. What do you hope for?
  2. How do you hold hope right now?
  3. What does holding hope mean?
  4. Who cares if you keep hope alive in your life?
  5. Why do you have hope?

Even if other people lose hope, how do you keep hope alive for you, for your life, for us all, for this world?

It is part of the social contract to keep hope alive, to hold hope, to cherish it. I invite you to write about it. And I invite you to hope.

Thank you for writing with us. Please sign up for the blog and come write with us every week.

Be safe. Be well.


Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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