Have hope not fear

Have hope, not fear. These are the words that mentor and advocate Wes Moore said he wanted on his tombstone during a recent interview at High Point University in North Carolina. They relate to lessons he received as a child.

Moore came to fame when he wrote and did a documentary on the other Wes Moore, who was born to the same circumstances as the author, but made mistakes, was not encouraged and ended up in prison. The author got a Rhodes scholarship and went off to fight in Afghanistan.

When asked what accounted for the differences in the two outcomes, Moore said something simple and profound. He said it is not one thing, it is a lot of things that made a difference. Expectations, encouragement and environment change played roles.

When the author was a smart aleck teen, he was sent to a military school, which he hated. He ran away five times before settling in. What he regrets is he found out his grandparents mortgaged their house to  pay for the school and if had been kicked out, they would have lost everything for nothing.

Moore was quite interesting, but I was left with two comments. As he advocates and mentors young folks, he asks the question, “Who will you fight for?” Be more than just a major, job, or career, be willing to fight for people.

The other is a wonderful quote from entertainer and advocate Harry Belafonte. Belafonte’s reputation as an advocate cannot be overstated. He fought for people. Yet, he offered a selfish reason to go along with his selfless activism. He said rather than getting up and calling my accountant like some performers, I can get up and call Nelson Mandela. Who has the more interesting life? When you fight for the disenfranchised, your life is more interesting.

Have hope, not fear. Let’s fight with hope for a better life for many. If we fight with fear, we will become narrow minded. Plus, if we help others, our lives will be far more interesting. Moore and Belafonte tell us it is so.

23 thoughts on “Have hope not fear

    • Absolutely. The AHCA that was defeated yesterday would have “hammered” the blue collar working poor and older workers. “Hammered” is conservative pundit David Brooks’ term. We must fight for those who have no place at the table, even though they were promised one this election by the winner. Little did they know….

  1. Note to Readers: In our work with working homeless families, I am reminded how “hope” and “faith” play such key roles. People must have hope for a better future as without it is despair. Plus, these folks have a constant faith in their religion. Often, through example they give back to the faith based volunteers who are there to help them.

  2. Keith,There are days when hope seems to be on the back side of nowhere. It is difficult to imagine us stabilizing the effects this administration is having worldwide…instead of sinking deeper into the quagmire of ineptness, idiocy and ineffectual leadership. Some days…fear becomes very real and overwhelming.

    Thank you always for your words of encouragement and your endless outlook for a better tomorrow…much more positive than my own.


    From: musingsofanoldfart To: rrrieder@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2017 6:41 AM Subject: [New post] Have hope not fear #yiv6451387193 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6451387193 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6451387193 a.yiv6451387193primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6451387193 a.yiv6451387193primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6451387193 a.yiv6451387193primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6451387193 a.yiv6451387193primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6451387193 WordPress.com | Keith posted: “Have hope, not fear. These are the words that mentor and advocate Wes Moore said he wanted on his tombstone during a recent interview at High Point University in North Carolina. They relate to lessons he received as a child.Moore came to fame when he ” | |

    • Raye, I fully understand, but I guess we should do our part to not be that way. I am not saying be naive and sing Kumbaya, but speaking up for the disenfranchised, educating and advocating and calling out bigotry. Maybe the worst thing about Trump being President is his every day example of how not to act. He is the antithesis of Harry Truman where he accepts no blame. He has a hard time telling the truth and uses people. And, he is the biggest narcissist I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Fear sells so we must remain hopeful and do our part to put a lid on fears. The best weapon against terrorism is giving people opportunities. The Mayor of London is a Muslim, who said the best weapon against ISIS are people like him, successful Muslims in the Western world. Please do come by again. Keith

  3. ‘ He said rather than getting up and calling my accountant like some performers, I can get up and call Nelson Mandela. Who has the more interesting life? When you fight for the disenfranchised, your life is more interesting.’

    So true! I think the most challenging part is to stay positive, stay aware of what’s going on, yet be informed and find ways to set positive examples… there is also a need to be sort of an umpire and be ready to shout, ‘foul ball!’ if needed. but if needed, one has to have the backbone to step forward and not just yell from the sidelines… that’s where fear sometimes wins — and where the bad guys learn to manipulate the weaker ones….

    • Lisa, well said and I love the umpire analogy. You embody everyday walking this talk. Thank you for your example. Best wishes my pied piper friend. Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    I am enamored of this this blog.

    I love the concept of fighting for the well being of others. In too many situations, people look the other way instead of stepping up to the plate and taking a stance.Yes, you may a price but you will save your soul, dignity and the ability to look at yourself in the mirror. This is where you live with hope and learn not be impeded by fear.

    Ciao, Gronda

  5. A strong post Keith against which there is no really valid intelligent argument. One of the many tragedies of the ‘West’ in these times is that the majority of people on both sides of the divide are actually fighting for the same things, but those who make profit from division have made sure they don’t appreciate that.

    • Roger, many thanks. I think we can trace the start of the divide back to the late 1980s for two reasons. Here in the states, a law requiring news outlets to offer an opposing editorial opinion was repealed. The other is the market segmentation. Data allowed organizations looking to make a profit to divide and conquer. They succeeded.

      Now, we have the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh and Maddow to offer unchecked opinion. Maddow is actually more accurate with her statements, but the nature of her program is no different than that of Hannity and Limbaugh – appeal to a strong base. Now, we have people far worse than these two who create even more conspiracy theories.

      Thanks, Keith

      • Shades of our very own Titus Oates then?
        Or our journals (I’d hardly call them News-papers); The Sun & The Daily Mail (the latter ironically locking horns with the current president, although this is over a personal matter)

      • Roger, I think our President has ticked off quite a few Scots, as well. Between the over-promised jobs and development to the lawsuits against the Scottish government, which he lost, to restrict them from building offshore windmills. It still amazes me that a man with his history of screwing people over is our President. Keith

      • President Trump is one of those salutary lessons History throws up from time to time for all professional politicians ‘Never Take The People For Granted’
        He is also very illustrative of the phrase ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’.
        In short, now this may come as a blow to his ego, but truth be known he is simply the combined manifestation of a malaise and a frustration; thus he is not his own man.

      • Roger, I agree. The circumstances were ripe for a populist candidate. For many years, more than 1/2 the Republican Psrty have been voting against their economic interests and had no idea. Along comes DT and he speaks to these folks with bumper sticker problems and solutions. To his credit, he showed up, wheats HRC did not. She actually had well thought out plans to help, but no one reads any more and would rather listen to bumper stickers. Keith

      • He should be very wary of The Disappointment Factor:
        Stage One: His voters blame the previous administration for The Mess (fine so far)
        Stage Two: His voters blame the people around him for not helping him deliver (folk fall on their swords)
        Stage Three: His voters grumble.(panic sets in-blame everyone within his sight)
        Stage Four: His voters lash out, saying he’s just the same as the rest etc, etc (he does a Shakespearean style exit about how misunderstood he was)
        Stage Five: The historians and journalists who have been collecting notes and draft chapters for a while now clean up in book market feeding frenzy.

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