Jan 20 2009

Hope

Today, there’s hope, I told her. She was pressing her fingers one-by-one into a bright pink glove, deliberately missing one of the fingers, the middle one, so she could hold up her hand and play out one of her favorite ruses: “Look Mama, which finger is missing?” Unimpressed with the weight of my proclamation, she ignored it.
barack-is-hope
Today there is hope, I told her again. It’s an historic day, a day I want her to remember. Anyone alive today will talk retrospectively about this day for the rest of their lives, remembering the ground they stood on when they witnessed history. Every generation has its “Where were you when…?” questions, many of them commemorating a tragedy. Where were you when you learned JFK was shot? When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated? When the World Trade Center collapsed? It makes for existential late-night conversation, sitting on the floor of the dorm-hallway, or a surefire opening for personal disclosure at a dinner party of strangers.

But instead of venerating a disastrous moment, the question provoked by today’s inaugural events will link us to an positive and optimistic memory, marking a pivotal moment in our lifetime where a nation peacefully and deliberately turned away from being powered by fear to being driven by hope. This is what I want her to remember about today. I want her to remember to hope. So I told her again, today there is hope.

“Hope for what?” she asked, “Candy?”