How Can I Be Hopeful When the World Seems Hopeless?
I've covered genocide, massacres and sexual violence in my career, so people expect me to be traumatized and depressed, a human version of Eeyore. But even when I report the most horrific stories, I often return feeling better about humanity. Side by side with the worst of people, you usually find the best.
I remember one trip to Congo, covering the most lethal conflict since World War II. I interviewed a warlord and the victims of his brutality, and he left a deep impression on me of the capacity for evil. Yet on the same trip I interviewed a Polish nun who had stayed behind when all other aid workers were evacuated, and she was feeding the hungry and negotiating to keep the warlord at bay. I came back wanting to become a Polish nun! That happens time and again. When people are tested, a remarkable number of them show courage and resilience.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on human-rights issues.