Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's Wrong With Hope?

Throughout most of the past nine months, we've heard a lot about hope. From Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" to both Democratic Presidential candidates inclusion of "Change" in their campaign slogans, to the popularity of Joel Osteen. However, despite the many voices of encouragement and visions of a better and brighter future, there are probably just as many voices shouting words of skepticism, discouragement and heresy.

Why do people feel offering "Hope" to those who may have previously had none is "false hope"? If you encourage others to imagine a future which includes what they wish for and dream of, is this wrong? If I have the "audacity" to hope for more than what is, to dream of all that could be or to envision what has never been, what's wrong with that? What's wrong with believing turning hope into reality is possible and working to make it so?

"Hope" is what encouraged Europeans to make the journey to The New World. "Hope" is what kept Africans believing they'd one day be able to escape the inhumane treatment of slavery. An end to military conflicts, a chief executive with concern for the "everyday person", job security and better education are what many voters "Hope" for. Yet, there are the naysayers who issue their discouragements with statements like, "Be realistic" or "You can't have change for change's sake".

There's much that is broken and needs to be fixed. There's much that isn't broken, but should be fixed anyway. There's also much that is great and wonderful. Here's the thing. We'll never know how much we are capable of or how great we can be until we stretch beyond what's comfortable. As individuals, as families, as organizations, as Americans, let's become more hopeful and look for ways to go beyond where we are. Let's imagine who and what we can be. Let's "Hope" for the opportunity to keep growing and learning everyday.

May all your todays and tomorrows be filled with "Hope".

Kennette Reed