Be A Hope Partner

Our wonderful columnist, Cheryl Farrell, shares her thoughts on our theme of “Illusion” while expanding our possibilities with tips on how to be a “Hope Partner”.

As always, thank you, Cheryl!

“But it was just my imagination,

once again runnin’ away with me.

It was just my imagination

runnin’ away with me.” *

One of my favorite R&B tunes of all time is *“Just My Imagination” performed by The Temptations. Released in 1971, the legendary Motown group crooned about an imaginary love. Ironically, the ballad could be an anthem for a surreal 2020. I often ask myself…

Did I imagine the COVID-19 pandemic and the gut-wrenching racial reckoning?

I am reeling from the emotional tsunami of this year. As a coping mechanism, I assign my imagination to things that are too real to be true. Life becomes an illusion, if just for a few hours to get through the day.

A favorite quote by Sam Keen says, “Despair is hidden arrogance: I have seen the future and it doesn’t work. Hope is rooted in trust of the unknown. Work, wait, and hope. That is enough.”

Thankfully, when I veer out of denial, I find hope by way of my imagination.

I smile with my eyes above a face mask as I visualize a smile from others. I send hugs in telephone calls to elderly relatives as I imagine their ample embrace.

I “share the good” by completing the sentence:  Despite these unprecedented times, I was able to …

  • Meet people from all over the world through Civic Dinners where we find much in common
  • Support Resistance by Design, the organization that makes the popular VOTE mask as creative advocacy
  • Present speeches on social justice to organizations that I would not have reached without the demand for conversations on race
  • Have an unexpected months’ long reunion in Los Angeles with my daughter who was living in New York during the early breakout of the virus
  • Participate in The Moth storytelling anywhere in the U.S. without leaving my home.

There is responsibility that comes with these blessings—we must share hope. I have found it in kindred spirits who seek ways to deal with traumatic times. I want to be your hope partner. I hope you stay strong. I hope you pray or meditate. I hope you vote. I hope you love those who are hard to love. That’s how hope prevails.

Ways to Use Your Imagination and Become a Hope Partner

  • Donate a hot-spot subscription to a student in an underserved family
  • Join an online bereavement group to support others and yourself

  • Make a Black friend—a real one, not just on social media—and talk about anything

  • Contact Volunteer Match to find virtual  volunteer opportunities that unite our broader community

  • Call an elderly person who may be feeling lonely

Be A Hope Partner
Cheryl Farrell is a guest writer for

Cheryl Farrell

Cheryl Farrell is a corporate communications consultant and performance storyteller in Southern California. She has decades of experience in healthcare, education, and financial services. Cheryl was an original cast member of the Jeopardy! Clue Crew and toured the world appearing in more than 1,000 video clips. As a public speaker, she often examines how older black women excel at the intersections of race, gender, and age. Cheryl has a master’s degree in Communication Management from USC and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA. She is married and has two adult children.

Photo credit - NiketaCH Photography

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