My Friend from high school, Richard Harwood heads up the Harwood Institute in D.C. One of his many focuses is traveling the country asking fellow citizens why they aren’t more involved on any level, with the Government that effects their lives. I would think one answer he may hear a lot is that we have lost hope that our efforts count, that our opinions count. We have by and large circled the wagons in our lives. We go to work, come home, maybe church, maybe some type of getaway, camping, running, sailing. Even when we get home we tend to isolate a little. Our decks and outdoor living are in the backs of our houses. We cast a vote, mind our own business, and some of us secretly wish we did things in a better way.


We’ve heard alot about the word Hope in the months preceeding the Presidential Election. The great hope! We all know how the media and campaigns likes to tag a word like hope. What a great word to hinge emotions on. Hell, who doesn’t like that word? Hope, yeah I’ll take some of that. It’s like air. Want some? well ,yeah, kinda need it. We need hope. Without it, our lives would be pretty dismal.

We can hope to be better friends, being the friend to make the call and not wait for the call. Better children. Sure, now that I have children, it makes me want to be a better, more loving, thoughtful son to my parents, who gave me so much. Hope to be a better spouse ! That ones touchy with some of us. But I have begun to learn that if I’m a better spouse, I’ll have a better spouse ! Who’d have figured that one?. Then we have the hope for the more etherial things. Contentment, happiness, peace, less illness, less violence. The list goes on forever. Sometimes it’s as simple as hoping for a sunny day. Other times when we’re quiet we’re just hoping to catch a glimpse of understanding of what all of this “life” means.

The Harwood Institute is just encouraging us to remember that we matter. Each one of us, each thought, each deed matters. To do something. Not to sit back and criticize everything. That’s where the rub comes in. Maybe that’s where we as a people get immobilized, for what do we do? Where do we pitch our tent? For that matter who and what do we believe. The more you try to learn the more confused you get. Don’t you?, I sure do. Everyone has an angle, therefore each person will tell it to you as they see it. It seems as if it’s the big shell game and after a while you just throw your hands up, have a beer, and let “those guys” battle it out. Bad choice, sure, but what else can you do. Maybe some people simply have the type of DNA to be involved, leaders, people that want to affect things for everyone. Others don’t share that DNA, that weren’t brought up  that way, and they try to live their lives quietly, raising their children to be good. To be solid. Maybe it takes a little of all of us. Some kind of weird, physic karma thing!

President Obama was a welcomed sight for me. He did offer hope in ways I hope our country would be represented. A more global approach and one that the United States was a part of. A strong, healthy part, but not that everything must be based our ideas. I don’t agree with all he does, but I appreciate the public image, and I guess I will have to start there. There is a saying I heard a while back that says “Hope Never Fails”. That is easy for me to believe. All else will be sorted out through time. I pray you and I will continue to keep hope in our hearts and kind words on our tongues.


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