Hope

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Hope is a dangerous thing. Hoping makes us vulnerable, puts us at risk to be disappointed, hurt, and rejected. As an African American I’ve learned not to hope for too much. Although I have a degree in history and in criminal justice, and I am blessed with a lovely family and a home to call our own, I was raised not to expect any of these things. As an American growing up in New England (New Hampshire), I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. To paraphrase Richard Wright: “part of the American experience but not of the American experience.” So I passed through my life quietly, passively; taking only what was given to me. God blessed me in endless ways, but deep in my heart I knew that I could have more if I only dared. Now, I’m 40. Comfortable with living out my life in quiet apathy, and Barak Obama comes along. This man who dares to hope; and I’m afraid. I don’t want to have hope, but I realize what his success could mean not only to young minorities, but to all young americans; If they can see him succeed – all of the boys and girls without fathers, in trouble, on drugs, making poor choices – they can begin to put excuses behind them and begin to see themselves succeeding. Perception is a powerful thing. Growing up I learned that people expect you to be a certain perception they may have of you, and escaping the grasp of that perception is a very difficult task indeed. It is easy to give in to negative perception, and to allow vicious cycles to continue, and live out your life within a glass coffin. Barak Obama is a person who could have made excuses, felt sorry for himself, and passively lived out his life. However, he overcame his circumstances, and broke free from old and expected trends to blaze new ones. He is the embodiment of the American Dream. Something that many of us do not believe in anymore however desperately we may want to. If he can succeed on the highest of American levels, perceptions will change all around, and hope will become very infectious throughout America. Right now that is what we need more than anything else.

Reaching for Hope

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~ by rimofheaven on February 9, 2008.

One Response to “Hope”

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