The real Hope from Arkansas, unexpectedly reignited

There was that story Clinton told, Thursday, about being teased at school, and how her mother blocked the door when Hillary ran home and tried to retreat inside, momentarily giving in to the fear and shame. “Go back out there,” Clinton’s mother said.

“She never let me back down from any challenge,” Hillary recounted.

Even though we self-absorbed Americans tend to think, during dark periods and circumstances, that each of us are the only ones facing such seemingly overwhelming, insurmountable barriers and “unfair” obstacles – the truth, of course, is more complicated.

The truth is that life is very, very tough for everyone. Just in different ways.

Like Hillary, I need to stop hiding from bullies – in this case, the biggest bully being what I allow my own mind to say to my Self.

“You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce,” Clinton said.

The second thing that reignited hope for me Thursday? Clinton’s longstanding understanding that the privileged are interconnected with – and commanded to help – the less fortunate. That, combined with Clinton’s concrete track record of doing just this – fighting to empower the disadvantaged – over, and over, and over again; for going on 40 years.

Hillary talked about how her mother was “saved by the kindness of others”:

“No one gets through life alone,” Clinton said. “We have to look out for each other and lift each other up. [My mother] made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith: ‘Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.’”

I’ve been on this earth long enough – and I’ve endured enough – to know that I’m unlikely to reap, in my remaining time, any quantifiable benefits from the remnants of American “democracy” or politicians’ promises.

But just knowing there’s a female, presidential nominee out there who is, at least, trying to bring some change – however small, and however slow – to this country of ours, right now, may be enough to get me by.

Maybe that Hope from Arkansas which first rose to the national scene in the ‘90s, and which I’d assumed got extinguished long ago, has been there smoldering, all along, and is about to flare up again – this time stronger than ever. Maybe all we have to do is just believe in that spark – but more importantly act on it; help others as well as ourselves – and maybe if we do, this time hope’s flame will be made real, and lasting.

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  1. Sarah says:

    I LOVE this Jeanene! Thanks so much for writing it– you’ve inspired me today! Hope is a good thing– don’t question it, just go with it.

  2. Jennifer Aviles says:

    How wonderful to read this today and to learn that Hillary’s bravery and determination sparked hope in you.


  3. LaDonna says:

    Our society labels “recovery” from anything, as a return to functioning at the level it expects. What if the expectation is crazy or unrealistic? Why do we (me included) berate ourselves for not fitting into an insane world? We live in a society that demands performance at all costs, and so we self-medicate, abnegate, fornicate, inebriate, flagellate, and eviscerate ourselves – and then wonder why we feel crazy.

  4. A says:

    Hey! You’re back! Whatever my misgivings are about Ms. Clinton, the choice between her, Trump, the Green Party, or “sitting out”, is, for me, a foregone conclusion. #I’mWithHer

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