How’s that hopey-changey thing goin’ for ya?
—Sarah Palin, half-term governor of Alaska, speaking about Barack Obama
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.
My life would be impossible without hope.
For as long as I remember, I’ve stuttered. Most of my life has been spent in compensation for this malady, trying to pass it off as no big deal, as no impediment to achieving my goals in life. But the fact is that, despite supportive friends and family, the world does view you differently when you’re different. But, even greater, you view yourself as Other, as not quite the same as those around you, magnifying your flaws to the point where they become huge boulders standing in your path.
With an affliction such as mine, one can go one of two ways: towards desperation, or towards hope. I count myself lucky; again, because of supportive friends and family, I always kept hope foremost in my mind, that something would break my way.
To make a long story short, I eventually found a doctor whose therapy worked. Thanks to keeping faith in things getting better, I’m now a librarian, talking my head off, reading and singing to children in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do before my therapy.
I don’t tell this personal story to elicit commendation. I tell it to illustrate the centrality of hope in any decent human life.
Hope gives you a chance at a decent life. Hopelessness only leads to death.