Hope. This word has been used a lot in the last year or more. Sometimes it felt to me like it was overused, but now that the dust has settled, I think I’m quite sure that it is a good word to describe where we are, or what we have. Beginning early today, there will be a new President of the United States, Barack Obama. He’ll be bringing in a whole new regime that seems, given what we’ve seen so far with the work of the transition team and the various appointments to key positions, determined to do some truly good things. (See several related posts listed below.) There’ll be several huge obstacles to fulfilling the promise and potential of the new regime, some known, and some unknown. It’ll be hard to firmly move forward, but it is hugely encouraging to see the looks of delight and joy on people’s faces during these days of celebration, and to hear about their engagement with the idea that we can pull together and move forward on so many fronts on so many vital issues. We don’t know what will come to pass, but one thing we do know is that there is a marvellous window of opportunity. There is Hope.

Since the election result on the night of 4th November 2008, with all that had been achieved and overcome still fresh in the air, right up until today, there’s actually been a rather fitting song ringing in my head when I think about all of this. I find the chorus from the song “I Live In Hope”, by a musician friend of mine, Libby Lavella (you may recall her from posts here and here) extremely evocative of the mood. With permission, I uploaded an extract from the song for you to listen to, perhaps to help share the mood. (The song is from the album Sometime in Morning – you can hear more of her music here and here. Amusingly and coincidentally, I edited this extract using a freeware application called Audacity by the way. Funny old world!)

Click on the icon below to listen and enjoy, but beware: Once you get to the chorus, it might stick in your head all day and beyond.

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10 Responses to Hope

  1. Jude says:

    I haven’t watched an inauguration since Clinton’s first (even though I was only moderately hopeful about his administration and never voted for him). Hope is why I will be watching this one, even though I’m at work.

  2. Kortney says:

    Libby is a truly gifted vocalist, very beautiful voice.
    Her song ‘I live in Hope’ is a nice tribute to this day.
    You are right, the chorus can stay with us a long time.
    This is a pleasant sound to be replaying in one’s heart for today.

    Hope loves….Love hopes…Life is
    Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we are!!

    Merry Blessed Inauguration Day 2009!
    God bless President Obama, his family and extended network, which, in 6 degrees of separation, includes us all.

    True Peace, Love, Hope and Joy ~
    Enjoy our universal community on this hope filled day!

    – kks

  3. spyder says:

    Not to put a damper on the spirit and intent of this post, but when people get “hung up” in hope i am reminded of what Cornel West said about it (paraphrasing): Hope doesn’t get anything done; especially when you consider that its opposite emotion is fear. The question i have been asking all day is: What will people actually do??? We must have no more backsliding away.

  4. Elliot Tarabour says:


    I share your concern but I would rather have people feeling hopeful than defeatist. The later will surely lead nowhere. But you are correct there needs to be some specifics. I wonder if the era of the “consumer driven economy” needs to come to a close and something more sustainable replace it.

    Meanwhile I will go to sleep tonight feeling very comforted that George Bush is no longer the most powerful man in the world and Dick Cheney is no longer a heartbeat away from that role.

    I think the two most important words of Obama’s speech were “hard work”. I’ll let each of us interpret that as they see fit.


  5. Clifford says:

    Sure, Spyder, but that’s like saying “one footstep on a mile-long walk doesn’t get anything done”. If it was that one step alone, then sure… but you need that starting step. The hope is there to get people believing again, and acting in concert. People won’t actually do anything without motivation.



  6. Kortney says:

    The opposite of hope is not fear, the opposite of hope is disheartened pessimisim.
    The opposite of fear is courage.
    Hope inspires.
    “What will people actually do?”
    Inspired people step forward in courage to raise inspiration, awareness and hope in others.

    Inspired people have already done a most significant thing.
    We have elected Barack Obama to lead our country and inspire the world, with intellect, a profound respect for humanity, disciplined composure and a belief in the inherrent dignity of people.

    People confident in their self-worth and integrity give rise to life in their thoughts, words and actions for the good of all,
    with ability to assure the self-worth, respect and dignity in those lacking confidence.

    Confidence cultivated in hope and love, modest, humble dignity, will sow the seed that sends deep roots, to infuse the tree of life.
    That is what people will do.

    In President Obamas words, “…America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace”….”This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls us to shape an uncertain destiny” ….by “restoring science to its rightful place, and weild technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.”

    Do not feed on the self defeating fuel of pessimisim.
    Instead, nurture the joy of hope.
    God and science will reveal the path of life.
    But first you must believe.
    Peace, Hope and Love ~

  7. Frank says:

    I hope that the word Hope will have significance throughout Obama’s presidency. I HOPE that Obama is who we all think he is and that he is capable of the things that his fantastic marketing group stated he could do. Obama is a prime example of a ‘future’ president properly marketing on all various types of mediums possible. I hope that it wasn’t a marketing gimmick and that we’ll all benefit from President Obama. Frankly I’m concerned with some of his pseudo socialistic ideas.

  8. spyder says:

    While i am not pessimistic, reading muddled, Hallmark-styled, self-help aphorisms clearly doesn’t inspire me with any confidence in things changing. You are kidding, right Kortney??

    For that matter, watching John Stewart and Jason Jones juxtapose clips from Obama’s inaugural speech with snippets from Bush over the previous eight years, offers only notions of that same old wine in a brand new bottle.

    If you take the first footstep of a mile walk, you are much closer to the end than hoping you can walk.

  9. Clifford says:


    Over the last year or more, I’ve been just as skeptical as you based on speeches alone. The point is that since November 4th, if you’ve been watching, there have been more than just speeches already… there’s been quite encouraging positive signs in actual actions, such as appointments of key personnel and so forth. One can remain cynical and skeptical, since no single action like that alone is a complete done deal by itself, but I chose not to. I chose to give the guy a chance and see what he can do, and participate in an atmosphere that can help him do what he claims he wants to do.

    The recent actions is why I wrote this post now as opposed to during the hot air days of a year ago or so.

    I guess what worries me more than anything is people sitting around waiting for whoever the president is to just wave a magic wand and make things right. We all have to do our part. So the entire country sitting around and waiting to see if Obama changes stuff or not is guaranteed to get nothing done. So we should participate. This is where the hope part is…It is all about getting the right collective frame of mind to help galvanize action… you get people willing to believe that something can happen and maybe they’ll participate. So rather than us all sitting around trading various variants of pessimism and optimism from our armchairs, how about we agree to help him to help ourselves? Let’s participate in all the myriad ways that we can, according to our situations, talents, and other inclinations.

    You won’t even make that first step on the mile walk if you don’t believe that it is possible.


  10. Kortney says:

    No, I am not kidding.
    I hope you have sensible shoes.
    The mile walk is straight up the mountain.
    See you at the top!