Joy - Dallas, Texas
Entered on May 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope

I believe in hope. I believe that as long as there’s room for hope, there’s room to keep trying.

When I say hope, I don’t mean that I necessarily believe in a “wishing” kind of hope. I do always make a wish when I see a shooting star, or when I catch the clock at 11:11 or when I blow out my birthday candles, but in this context I mean a concept of hope that provides anchorage through uncertainty. A hope that allows me to work toward equality, even though others may be content with injustice.

I’m a social worker. It’s always interesting to hear people’s responses when I tell them what I do. I am always asked why I chose to work so hard for so little in return. They don’t know. I have hope.

I have hope that all children will be able to go to the college of their choice based on their achievement without questioning the role of their skin color. I have hope that all women will be safe in their homes. I have hope that social workers will get paid more. But most of all, I have hope that our differences will not be tools of division, but avenues for conversation and progress.

I witness other people’s hope every day. Their hope keeps mine going, because hope is something that cannot survive singularly. I believe hope feeds on the presence of goodness, of others’ hope. This parasitic hope comes from a group of children- each a different color, but each as beautiful as the other. It comes from the fact that the democrats are trying to choose between an African-American man and a women for their presidential nominee. It comes from men and women who put their reputations on the line everyday to stand up for what they believe. There is hope today.

When I look at the history of this country, I see a history full of oppression and prejudice and ignorance. But I also see this hope. I believe that America has hope, and that, while we may have a future of problems to work out, there is hope that we can.

I believe that this hope will come to fruition as people start learning about their neighbor. When I look at someone who is different than me and understand that she has so much to teach me about this world. When I listen to a man’s words rather than look at the color of his face. When I open up to a stranger about my experience, knowing that I will not be judged, but heard.

I hope for a lot of things, but my hope can be found in others. I hope that above all, I can be open to those who are different, that I can feel compassion instead of fear, that I can accept others, as well as myself, and that I can help others can do the same.