Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hope 2005

I am a realist and an optimist. For 2005, I am putting my optimism in the forefront and I am placing Hope on the top of my priorities list. I think, sometimes it is the little things in life that give us hope... A blue jay perched on the ledge by the door, a candle burning in window, the pureness of the year’s first snow; these are all signs that “hope is on the way.”

I ended 2004 with a couple of those little things, lighting up the darkness and giving me hope.

First, there was the gift of hope that arrived in the mail, a package of Hope Bracelets, from Blue Hope Bracelet founder, Laura Adams. Many thanks to Laura, for the gift of Hope on New Year’s Eve. Laura is busy spreading Hope wherever and however she can. Currently if you place an order for Hope Bracelets, they are “donating 20% of our net sales to aid the victims of the recent tsunami tragedy in Southeast Asia.”

Second, was the small but significant weekly vigil of Neighbors for Peace and Justice. As a few of us gathered on the corner, where we meet each week to hold our vigil, there was a sense of communion and hope that 2005 would be a better year. That simple act of gathering with people of like mind can do so much to foster hope.

We cannot lose faith. We cannot give up our ideals. For our ideals are the foundation of democracy, freedom, justice, liberty, and peace.

Do we have a lot of hard work ahead of us? Yes, we do. The realist in me knows this. However, with people like Laura Adams, of Hope Bracelets, and groups like Neighbors for Peace and Justice, we can and we will persevere.

In his speech to the 2004 DNC, John Kerry said, “It is time to reach for the next dream. It is time to look to the next horizon. For America , the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come.”

We must believe in that hope that John Kerry spoke of so often in his campaign. We must join together and work towards the goals of a stronger and safer America . The time for recriminations has past. We have work to do. I ask you all to look realistically at what you can do to make a difference, not only in our country, but also in the world.

In the past few weeks, we have all heard the claims that the election was won, on values and we have all seen that the values of the GOP are in a word, valueless.

Some say that John Kerry did not speak of values enough in his campaign, and so I leave you with these words today from his speech to the 2004 DNC, “Values are not just words. They're what we live by. They're about the causes we champion and the people we fight for.”


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