The Power of Conversation (And Hope)

I was struck by the power of Rebecca Solnit’s comment on the importance of hope in and of itself. But I was also reminded of something I read from Václav Havel many years ago. I can’t find the quotation now, but my recollection is that Havel was asked how he and his compatriots were able to create a democratic government so quickly after years of dictatorship. His response was something like “because we had many conversations over the years even when we knew that talking wouldn’t make any difference.”

Perhaps I’ve mangled the point, but that’s what stuck with me. And it’s particularly strong in my mind now because I just spent time in Prague, where I visited several bookstores skimming through English translations of his writing, seeking to find the quote. All I can say now about this is that I sincerely hope that I’ll find it someday.