At the end of the book Kramer writes:
As Wendell Berry once pointed out to
me in a kind but steely tone, hope is a discipline. Like love, hope is
born and developed in the gritty reality of daily circumstances; it must
be chosen anew, over and over again. And like love, I believe that the
discipline of hope is a gift. On my own strength, I do not possess the
virtue and willpower required to keep choosing hope, but through my
relationships with others and with the Creation, I fancy that God keeps
encouraging and empowering me to make that repeated choice.
Hope is so much more than simply wishing that tomorrow might be
different than today, or as the Counting Crows sang “maybe this year
will be better than the last.” Unfortunately we often talk of hope as
if it were some kind of wishful thinking that somehow someday things
will be different. The tragedy of this is that we us hope as a way of
avoiding our lived lives.