This I Believe

Patrick - Greencastle, Indiana
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope

War, famine, poverty, and segregation. These are just some of the things that cast a shadow over the world. They have always been in the world no matter what decade or era. War creates divisions, famine creates divisions, as well as poverty and segregation. They all create segregation of cultures, race, gender, economic standing and anything else that society or you may hold dear. These divisions tear at the very basis to which the world was created, and they are only a few of the causes of segregation in the world today.

While there are so many people with different beliefs, skin colors, and economic backgrounds I believe there is one thing we all have in common: Hope. Hope drives everything that is good in the world. And every person no matter their color, has the capacity to hope. That is why, I believe in hope. While the causes of segregation have been around for decades, hope has endured right along side it.

I was surprised to find that it only took one eye opening week to help me realize the importance of hope. It was during my days on a Chicago service trip. My first experience began in a Latino American shelter called SuCasa. While I was there I heard stories of the families that would come to the shelter as a result of abuse, rape, and many other situations. I learned of the School of America’s where their course work has been debated for years. Teaching other militant countries interrogation tactics, and possibly even ways of taking over a village and the killing of women and children. It caused me to think of the hardships those families have been through and how they have had such a harder life than I have. Those hardships make the families completely different from me. However, the one thing we do have in common is hope. Hope for a better life.

While walking in a neighborhood that has undergone gentrification in Chicago I was surprised to find a homeless shelter called, REST, in the midst of such a new and upcoming neighborhood. It caused me to realize that the people without a home that would come to the REST shelters may have at one point lived in the very apartments that had undergone gentrification. I began to hope that the homeless people I met would find a better life. While some of the homeless people told me their hopes where to find a hot meal and a place to sleep the next day.

I do not consider myself poor by any means. But I still have my share of hardships; and hope helps me to get through them. When I went to Chicago I also had a medical emergency. There was a possibility that I could have colon polyps; something both my grandfather and uncle died from. I went to get checked and was turned away. The hospital had claimed my insurance was not valid. In that moment I felt hopeless and I felt that I had no control over my life. The only thing that got me through that experience was the hope that I would find an alternative to being seen. In that moment I realized that not everyone has the choices that I do. One thing that no hospital can take away from anyone is hope. Hope that our loved one’s will get better. Hope that during our hardships and dark moments, our luck will change.

While there are so many people in the world that have a harder life than I do. While there are people that are segregated and people that I judge based on stereotypes without even thinking of the person behind the color of their skin. While all the differences create barriers between people we all have hope in common. Everyone has hardships in their lives and hope helps us to get through them. Without hope their would not be peace, love, laughter, or anything that you might hold dear. Remember the power that hope has over every kind of person and their life.