Saturday, April 09, 2011

"Hope is a passion for what is possible" - Kierkegaard

I noticed this quote today and I'm still digesting it. It was the introduction to a story about a boy who was homeless, lost everything in a torrential downpour, and was completely broken. The one connection he had to his sister, the person he loved most, was lost in the rains, and for him, it was like someone he loved dearly had just died. Along comes a person who works with youth on the streets, and he tries to 'fix' everything, only to realize he needs to allow the person to grieve. A few days later, Katrina (the hurricane) comes along and the boy is deeply affected by the loss experienced by the people in the line of Katrina. Instead of panhandling for himself (and he desperately needed it, especially now that he had lost everything he owned), he panhandled for Katrina. He ended up giving all that he had for other people, and this made all the difference in his life. He had hope. He started making changes in his life. I know I'm missing big parts of the story, and to be honest, I'm still digesting the rest of the story. There's a lot to unpack in this story - some more on the level of working with this population and some as simply a person living in Canadian society seeing people on the streets. This passion to help people became his hope, and with this hope, life became possible for this boy. This step was a springboard for him to make many positive changes in his life.

Maybe I'll come back to unpacking this quote more, and maybe even unpacking this story more in another blog post. We'll see. In the mean time, I'm thinking of using this story as a discussion starter for Youth night on Wednesday, although I'm not sure I'll get through reading it out loud. I was bawling most of the way through. I wasn't sad for the boy - I think I was actually crying for this amazing self sacrifice. And the difference this act made in helping this boy move on in life.  I saw myself in the story too - in the street worker. He wanted to solve the problems. He had solutions - get this guy into a shelter, get him housing, get him new clothes, get him a new sleeping back, etc. What this kid needed was to have his feelings validated. He needed someone to go with what he found important - giving the money to a cause that affected him deeply. He needed someone to just love him and not jump to conclusions about what needed to be done. How many of us wouldn't encourage the kid to use the money for him to start building up his own life? Afterall, who else is more in need than this boy? I pray I have the discernment to realize what needs to be done in situations like this. The story is found in the book Bent Hope by Tim Huff and it is called "A Kid and a Coffee Cup". The book is a good read and it may well give you a new perspective.

Hope is a passion for what is possible. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patti, long time no see...was browsing the internet for hope quotes for my thesis and ran into your website. I hope all is well with you. You can reach me at
Take care,
Janis Radtke