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Monday, September 8, 2008

What have we done to hope?

Of all the sound bites emanating from candidates in the 2008 US presidential election race, one in particular, "the audacity of hope", warrants further consideration.

Set aside the eloquence of the phrase and you're left with a very troubling question. How is it that we've arrived at a place where it's considered audacious to have hope?

Hope is humanity's birthright. In essence, hope is the inalienable right. Yet somehow it's become acceptable to say, for example, that the poor are audacious simply because they choose to be hopeful amidst their circumstances.

The fact that the phrase, "the audacity of hope", resonates deeply with so many of us is a reflection of a growing intellectual, emotional and spiritual poverty. No person, especially the poor, should have to be audacious in thought or action just to reclaim something that was theirs all along – hope.

Despite their circumstances, the poor are able to find hope in ways you or I can't even imagine, in a setting where we could never survive. The poor should not be characterized as audacious simply for having hope. To do so, is evidence of our poverty, not theirs.

What has become of us when the eloquence of a phrase serves to further obfuscate the truth of something so fundamental to our existence? What have we done to hope?

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