Thursday, October 07, 2010


The first voice I heard when I woke up this morning belonged to one of my most famous hope heroes, Barack Obama. It was not the hopeful voice I am accustomed to hearing, not the voice that made him my hope hero. Quite the contrary, in fact. It was a sad voice. He was trying to rally the Democrats and it did not appear to be going well. You could hear the fatigue in his tone. He was chiding them, scolding them, urging them to get back to work. Senate elections are coming up and it sounded like he was feeling an urgent need for supportive followers. It’s a nasty position for a guy who needs the help of millions if he’s to convert his hopes into accomplishments.
Helplessly watching your very own hope hero suffer is a painful thing and I was feeling the pain. Even though I hadn’t brushed my hair or my teeth, even though it was 6:00 AM, not my optimal hour of best compassion, my heart went out to him. The reporter playing the clip was presenting evidence to prove that Obama is a desperate man. The speech excerpts he had chosen did appear to support that. So at that early moment, applying the twisted logic you might expect at 6:01 AM from a sleepy HOPE LADY I made a declaration. I promised to do whatever I could do to help my hope hero go forward in his hour of need. Only one question remained to be answered? Exactly what is it that a Canadian HOPE LADY can do for a President of the United States?
By the time the sun rose I was seriously considering some options. I could give money. Giving $10.00 would be relatively easy, except for the problem of exchanging the money into American currency, and the possible legal impediments that might prevent US politicians from accepting donations from Canadians. But on second thought, what use would Barack have for the equivalent of ten Canadian dollars? There might be a better option.
I considered calling an American talk show and stating my opinion on a variety of political issues. It seems like a lot of people get most of their information from talk shows these days, and most of my opinions are in line with barack’s stated hopes. This seemed plausible, until I realized that I’d have to start listening to American talk shows in order to find the one that would most likely take my call. That use of my time tempted me about as much as the idea of eating political pamphlets for a mid-morning snack. I decided to keep thinking.
Lunchtime arrived and still I had no plan of action. Assisting a US president is not as easy as you might think. But with the help of a little confidence boost and some thinking-it-through assistance from Rachel, a plan of action was at last devised. I would steer away from the thing that has so far earned me no respect—the formidable task of influencing American politics and steer toward something more familiar. I would offer my best HOPE LADY advice to Barack Obama. And here it is.
Stick with the hope stuff Barack! It served you well before, and there is no reason to believe it can’t do that again.
State your hopes for your country in the language of I hope. You’ve done it before. You can do it again. Stating hopes is a momentum builder. You could use some momentum now.
Refuse to choose between hope and reality. You don’t have to worry about losing reality. It will be there. Focus on the thing you might lose—hope.
Hang out with hopeful people—the people who give you hope. Hope is contagious. Some people are extraordinarily good at spreading it. You have shown yourself to be good at giving it, and it’s best to keep your own supply up.
Keep up your supply of hope by looking for hope in your past experience. Pay particular attention to things that turned out better than you expected, things that were possible when you thought they weren’t. Write about these things. Talk about these things. It’s easy to lose sight of them when you get really busy trying to fix absolutely everything.
And finally, try not to give too much attention to the hope-suckers, those people and events that suck out all the hope leaving you with only fear and despair. The media is already giving them more credence than they’ve earned. They’ll tell you that hope is not enough to fix everything. Who do they think they’re talking to? This is not news. Having hope is an efficiency measure. It’s just a whole lot easier to do anything worth doing when you have hope. Insist that others should offer a hope to match every hope of yours. Don’t let them off the hook until they do.
If this is not enough to make things better, I still have ten available Canadian dollars to give you. Proof positive that there is always one more option.


Tracey said...

I like this post. It's like you are a superhero of hope!

Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) said...

Isn't she just, Tracey? Thank you, Wendy. I'm not sure if you read comments, but I read every one of your posts.