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Monday, January 22, 2007

To Speak is to Hope


The door slammed behind him, shaking the frame of the old oak door.

“Why did you park in my spot?” the father exclaimed. “You know that if I don’t park in the garage on a night like tonight, the convertible top is going to be destroyed by this storm!”

The mother sat, head hanging, slowing, as she folded the laundry. The young boy continued to sit, working on his multiplication tables.

“Do you want to pay to replace that top? It’s going to be ruined if you don’t move your car! Do you know where we are going to find the money to replace something like that? ”

The mother began to speak, “I ca…”

“You know what,” the father interrupted, “don’t worry about it. I will move it…because if I don’t, I am not sure that it will be moved before this storm tears the roof right off.”

The young boy, looked up from his homework, and innocently speaks, “Dad, mom had to park it in the garage because we were unloading the groceries. You didn’t want all of our food to be drenched by the rain, did you?”

“SHUT UP and go to your room! This is an adult conversation. Child.”

The child obeyed.


A simple story from every day life. A young boy, raising his voice. Why did he raise his voice? He raised his voice because he wanted his mother and father to stop fighting. He looked up from his homework because he wanted the pointless aggression of his father to cease. He stepped in, and spoke…because he hoped.

To speak is to hope.

Lets think about it.

Why do people speak up surrounding issues of justice? They speak because they hope for change. Why does Bono use concerts as an opportunity to speak of the AIDS epidemic in Africa? He speaks because he has hope for their country and hope for a cure. Why do you ask others for forgiveness? You ask because you hope that they will forgive. Why do you hit on women? You drop your line because you hope for a phone number. Why do people blog? They blog because they hope to receive comments. They blog because they hope to grant others knowledge. They blog (as in my case) because they hope for conversation to begin. You blog because you hope. Why do people publish books? They publish books because they hope to make money, to become famous, or to create awareness. They publish books because they hope that their narratives or research will grab the soul of another. Why do people sing songs? They write and sing music because they hope to inspire, to effect, to penetrate, to impact.

To speak is to hope. We speak where we hope. We hope for what we speak of.

When a voice is silenced, hope is often shattered. In this young boy’s home, the door had been slammed on his hope for a quiet evening with his parents as his father told him to shut up. As a husband reminds his wife that he is the head of the household and her role is simply to support and keep her mouth shut…he is silencing hope. As governments and institutions ignore the voice of their people…they are silencing hope. Hope is silenced in silence.

Where have you been silenced? Where do you speak? With whom do you speak most candidly? Where are your words carefully chosen? With whom are you silent? What do you find to be the most frequent topic of conversation as you engage others? Do you find that the things you most often hope for are the things you are most excited to share with others? At times, do you fear conversation because of the hope that is involved? Do you often experience pain in the hope of speaking?

Speak. Hope. Hope. Speak. Go.

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