Hope


For many—maybe mostof its human inhabitants, the world is and always has been a hard place. For most, hope is the fuel that helps life go on. Hope for some kind of change that things will get better for us—or at least for our children, hope that tomorrow the sun will shine and the rain-earthquake-tsunami-drought-war will stop. And, especially at this time of year, hope that there will be “peace on earth”—and for many, hope in another life that transcends this hard one.
I have been reminded of the importance of hope while watching Kennedy footage on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination, and reminded again with the passing of Nelson Mandela and its attendant ceremony.
As Kennedy came to office the Cold War kept families in Europe separated and American children diving under desks with the fear of a nuclear attack, new African nations struggled, poverty was wide-spread in South
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The end of November


It is the end of November in my 72nd year and my mind churns.
I guess for many of us of a certain age November will always be associated with John Kennedy’s death. Yes, I remember the day, remember riding my bike to class at UC Riverside, putting it in a rack and walking across campus and coming on a distraught Dr. Dennis Strong, waving his hands, tears streaming down his face, shouting that they had shot the President.
Although a couple of UCR students I knew checked out almost immediately and joined the Peace Corps, it took me almost two years to do the same. We went to Turkey with Kennedy half-dollars stuffed in our bags, tokens we would hand out to friends we made. And, like Volunteers across the world, I found newspaper and magazine pictures of JFK, in my country alongside photos of Ataturk, in small villages
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