The Impossible Will Take a Little While

12:28 PM

I wrote a book reflection for Americorps about "The Impossible Will Take a Little While" which I have been thinking about a lot lately. It includes stories and essays from the likes of Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy, Tony Kushner, and Vaclav Havel, Alice Walker, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Susan Griffin, Marian Wright Edelman, Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Hightower, Desmond Tutu, and Howard Zinn. I don't know, that might be all of them. Here it is. This book was monumental. It is a compilation of stories and essays by strong, thoughtful authors who discussed different movements and small actions throughout history that helped change history-sometimes suddenly, sometimes slowly over time. It is subtitled, "a citizen's guide to hope in a time of fear," and is illustrated beautifully with acts of hope by average citizens. I fully believe that we must challenge fear if we are to hope, and to love. I went to this book for a reaffirmation that the little things I can do to make change can make a difference in the world because as Americorps members, every day we do little things that we hope make a difference. One of the best outcomes I noticed in the youth surveys we have the program participants fill out at the end of the school year long program was that everyone agreed with the statement, "Teens can make positive change." This was so exciting to me because I do believe that teens can make positive change and I was so glad to hear that they believed it of themselves as well. There are times when I doubt for myself whether I can make positive change, but they there are little stories that emerge months or years later about how I impacted someone without knowing it and that is encouraging. This book was basically a collection of these types of stories-people taking action that eventually become turning points in movements for change along with small stories that didn't become the main stories of change in human history, but were stepping stones towards change. These stories, small and large encouraged me, but the overall tone of the book was quite dark. It was written just after George W. Bush began his second term, so for those that had begun to feel hopeless about the plight of the poor and underserved, environmental degredation and policy and America's role in the world, among other things, during the first (many of these authors among them), it was a time when one really needed to fight to remain hopeful in America. Though I was encouraged by the election of President Obama, this book is a sobering reminder that the problems that existed before have not all gone away and that we still need to do every small thing we can to make the world a better place and maintain hope, because, "The Impossible Will Take a Little While."

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