Hope is a wicked mistress

Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

With all the violence in the world, my hope was waning. Then yesterday, Out In Jersey’s Editor Emeritus, Toby Grace, called me and spoke of a random act of kindness he witnessed, and just like that, my hope was restored. If only for a few minutes.

It has been a long year of hopelessness for humankind. Senseless killings, wicked hate crimes with anti-gay agendas attached to fists, rapes, and every kind of dehumanizing act one can think of has been in the forefront of our news media. But I refuse to give in to the notion that people are bad.

Pure and simple: most people are good. Most people want to do the right thing and cause no harm. In fact, most people want to be kind and help their fellow human, and require no praise or fame for doing so.

So, in the light of this new day, I look to our future with hope restored. This one random act of kindness, like a stone thrown into a river, touched me. Random acts of kindness affect everyone, and cause a ripple effect. One by one, the more acts of kindness performed, the more people are affected.

I am not saying we are done fighting for our rights. I am saying we have more to do. There are so many things that need to happen for this world to be on even footing. I am sure by the time I finish writing this editorial, my hope will sink a little.

A gay, lesbian, or transgender person will take their own life because they are not accepted. A transgender child will commit suicide because their Christian parents told them they are Satan. A GOP state representative will speak at a KKK rally and claim ignorance, and we will not be surprised. On and on, the cycle will continue. But for that one moment of hopefulness, I am grateful and inspired.

Today I will perform a random act of kindness, then sit back and watch what happens. I hope you will, too.

Sam Martino
Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.