Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us

Deena Kastor

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fast Car

I will be gone for about ten days without a computer so I thought I would write something before we left. We are going on a road trip to a number of places, the Grand Canyon being one of them. I have never been there and I am very excited. I like to see proof that the unimaginable does exist and I forsee that happening when we are there. Soon we will have the car packed and our dog Max settled and be on our way. Hopefully, I will get some running in during the trip :)

Last week I was listening to some older cd's that I haven't heard in a while. One of them I will admit was straight from the 80's by Whitney Housten. I am not embarrassed at all to say that I still know the words to most of the songs on that cd. It wasn't event originally sold as a cd-it was a cassette tape.  The other was a Tracy Chapman which had the song "Fast Car" on it. Does anyone remember that song? Of course you do.....that song is unforgettable. Of all the music I listen to that song is my favorite-hands down-no exceptions.

The reason I am bringing it up is because I believe it speaks so much to what I believe to be the most important gift that anyone can be given: Hope. If you listen to the lyrics you will notice that the woman in the song continues to struggle in life but she never gives up-she has hope that life will get better.  And it does. If I hear it correctly she ends up telling her boyfriend or husband to "take your fast car and keep and driving". Well, however you interpret the song, and I am sure there are many interpretations, I think it is about continuing to have hope despite the difficulties you face in life.

I had a professor in college who once spent an entire class  session on the importance of having hope in one's life. The class was actually about how drug addiction often causes people to give up hope and therefore continue to do drugs because they feel that life is, well, hopeless. People often don't believe that they are capable of having a different life or that life is even worth living if there's nothing to hope for. Abused children and teens feel this way sometimes.  Maybe more than sometimes.

We as adults are responsible for giving hope to children and teens who have been abused.  They have to know that there is hope, that there is a way to have another life other than drugs or suicide, or even prostitution.  Maybe everyone needs a fast car to "have a feeling that I belonged", to "have a feeling I could be someone".  Ah, the 80's, they were great times weren't they?


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