Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Hope for the world!"

It's a phrase I use infrequently and only with sincerity. In my seven years of writing college recommendation letters for students it has only wiggled it's way into two letters thus far (three soon, I'm sure). I'm fairly certain I've at least thought it, if not spoken it with glee in my voice, a smile on my face, and a "happy-clapping" sound from my hands when I've seen small children do sweet but meaningful things, like share or give away something they treasure with full-hearted generosity, or if one of my teenagers self-policed the classroom if they heard someone use the word "gay" as a derogatory term, of one of them wanted the class to "adopt-a-family" for the holidays instead of just giving each other white-elephant presents.

But I don't remember ever using it for adults.

But this morning I woke up to NPR News voices telling me that the Democratic Party is regaining control in the United States. And now I hear that in Massachusetts (first name?) Patrick will be the first black man in that state ever to serve as governor. Best of all, the proposition that young women must inform (and thus effectively have the permission of) her parents before she has an abortion of any sort did not pass. Thank God. This election also serves as the first time I have sincerely liked a political race commercial--the one with the female voiceover talking about how sure she is that her daughter would talk to her about a surprise pregnancy and have her support while we watch a bubble float through suburbia. Then we hear a teenage and a motherly voice yelling at each other and the bubble bursts near a darkened window. Californian voters (though not San Diegan voters--shame on them!) have decided that teenagers are sometimes wise and right, even after they may have made a mistake, that sometimes they know what they should do and what is in the best interest of their own lives as well as their children's lives. They've realized that some parents are not good parents--it's not like people have to take a test to qualify, they just have to have sex at the exact right time of the month (a tiny little window, just a few days; a miracle that the Earth is overpopulated). Some parents are really bad. Some parents use their children has weapons or shields or punching bags. Some parents abandon their children emotionally but keep them physically, some parents abandon their children completely, some parents choose to have homeless children rather than pregnant (or gay) children. And some of us, some of us choose, to help those children as well as we possibly can.

So today, I say their is hope for the world, and this time it's people over the age of 18 who inspire that hope. It is the hope that people under 18 will have the chance to live in a better world than the one they've seen thus far. It is the hope that grown-ups can give children their own ability and opportunity and reason to hope. As Brian Naylor from NPR news, says, it's "a campaign based on little more than change." It is a hope won on little more than change.

1 comment:

Sara Fay said...

cheers to that!