You know, so much of my life is pretty much centered around getting out of the hole I grew up in. With the radioactive mutant mole rats. ((Oh. Right. Some other people have parents.)) How I think, interpret, and deal with things is based on that singular experience.
Not everybody gets their life threatened growing up. Not everybody has parents who want to maim them or kill them. Not everybody was told by their parents to never expect anything more, or told by their parents that they would never be anything more, because they neither deserved it nor could ever get to that point. For me, the idea of a “safe, sane place” is non-existent. Not everyone loses everything they had in a last-ditch escape after all.
It’s a transforming thing, to have to go against all of that, and live in spite of all of that, and even fathom that one can escape that. ((To every creator who wishes they had a terrible childhood… just don’t.))
That’s why I get. Pissed. Off. When people tell others that they can never be more than what they are, or that “making it” is a fantasy. I get pissed off at people who claim that they are the ultimate cynic and have the experience to be so. Sure. They might. Often they don’t. My existence and my life and everything I am and can do and have done is a gigantic middle finger to their cynicism about what life holds.
I know what it’s like to have no hope.
Yes, I myself have dissed hope, because for years — 20 years — I had none. I can’t tell you where I got it. I don’t remember the epiphany. But I know what it’s like when hope descends. It’s not a panacea but it is transforming. Whether you forge it yourself, are inspired by external conditions or people, even if it just comes out of the blue, it is a palpable force.
Yes, anger motivated me. But that anger would not have existed if I didn’t hope that I would get out of my situation, out of that life. So when I see people who say that hope is pointless, who say it has no value, who say that its harbingers do no real favor to the world — if you think like that, stay far away from me. Very, very far away.
These days there are a lot of people in hopeless situations. Cynics would have them stay that way until death, since they see no other way. But there is always another way. And hope is what opens your mind to the possibilities, gives you the drive to explore them.
I see two candidates. One offers hope and calm. The other has offered hatred, contempt, and fear. That’s the last 8 years in a nutshell.
When you have weathered a long storm of a life, endless years when there is nothing but the storm and perhaps, or perhaps not, a break in it — you know the crushing power of hopelessness, and you know the lifting power of hope. That is why one candidate running a winning streak.
America has weathered a storm that has lasted 8 years. Any number of years, or months, or days, is too long for such a storm. It must end. And part of ending the storm and reaching safe ground is not just the helping hands of others. You must steer that ship to shore — each and every one of us. It is a difficult thing to do. I know it myself. But in the end you must do it. And you cannot do it without hope.
That’s why I endorse Barack Obama.