Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hope, nothing with feathers

I thank you kindly for not mocking me for dropping the laptop on Mother's Day. I tried to handle it with grace, but nonetheless I didn't laugh all that much. I thought I felt a funny coming on, and I would try to post something to make you snort your coffee out your nose, but I got sidetracked by hope. Go figure!

I will make it a policy not to talk about work here, but in the course of a conversation I had with another lawyer today, I came upon an idea that I can't let go of. After some discussion of poverty, and substandard living conditions, and related items of good cheer, my friend told me something she learned from a local juvenile court judge. Now, this judge is often controversial because he yells a lot, and doesn't mollycoddle much, but no one would assert that he doesn't care for the kids he sees in his court. This judge has recognized that some things about the kids he sees can't be changed but he tries to find what can be helped along. The kids who come from the "poor" side of town might never have crossed the divider that separates our east from west, and will certainly have never actually seen the university, where it sits on the hill above the city. This judge realized that telling kids over and over to go to the university and get an education was always going to plant in their minds only an idea, one with no tangible meaning at all. So he takes groups of kids to the university so they can see it, and be on the campus, and enter a building and see classes in session. And once those kids had been there, then there would be one less obstacle to going back.

I was taken aback by this idea: I see exhortations in people's offices, in print, and online to make goals, reminding us that those without goals don't go, but I'd never thought about how adding tangibility to those goals would have so much more meaning. Hope floats, or flies on feathers maybe, but hope goes further on the bus, even if it is a rolling asylum.

1 comment:

  1. Very true. Something to definitely remember.

    Sometimes the people who yell loudest care the most. Just sayin'.

    And I'm getting a tattoo on June 17th with that line--"hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul"

    Hang in there! Funny will come.