Monday, January 19, 2009

Hope and Dreams

As I watched footage last night of the historical civil rights struggles of the 1950s and '60s, I was taken aback by what some have called "the audacity of hope". As I watched the familiar scenes of protesters being sprayed with huge fire hoses and running from angry men with ferocious dogs, I was stunned once again by the fact that those things happened so recently. At least it seemed to be recent, because I remember sitting and watching the same scenes on the news on the huge piece of furniture that encased a small black and white television screen in my parent's den not too many years ago. I frequently rode comfortably in the front of the very bus that Rosa Parks might have ridden on my bi-weekly trips to the library in Montgomery.

As I watched, I realized that those civil rights pioneers had a lot more reason to give up hope as they saw their dreams dashed in various ways than do any of us living in civilized nations today. Yes, our investments might have tanked, our salaries and benefits might have been cut, but look at what's left even to the least fortunate of us.

It's not just a dream that bright, thoughtful people will apply themselves to the task of having a world where people of all faiths and colors can coexist successfully. It's a hope that borders on belief, especially among the young and perhaps among less jaded older people. I can count myself among them today. I'll gladly grab the wisp of hope he offers.

Yes HE can. Yes WE can.

The morning polls showed that roughly eighty percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama can carry through with his plans for a better country and a better world. That's an awful lot of hope out there; that's a lot of faith out there. I really, really, really hope they're right. I hope they get the "I told you so!" that they deserve. Let's give it to them with a light heart and a smile on our faces.



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