Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all

– Emily Dickinson

Today, children all across Canada and the world will run. They will run to honour the life and wishes of Terry Fox.

It’s been 25 years since that amazing young man proved that the thing that pushes us forward when everything else seems lost is hope. After losing his leg to cancer, who would have faulted him if he had chosen to hide himself away? To feel sorry for himself? To give up on any number of things in his life?

April 12, 1980 Terry began his “Marathon of Hope” in St. John’s Newfoundland.
For the next four months, he would run a marathon a day – 42 kilometres – on one leg .

If each student in almost 10,000 schools registered to participate in the Canada-wide event runs only one kilometre on Friday, that would be the equivalent of going around the Earth 75 times…it’s the equivalent of going to the moon and back four times. – Donna White, co-ordinator of school runs with the Terry Fox Foundation.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word hope lately. It seems to be something that we as human beings are needing more than ever. Wars, storms, starvation, disease, prejudice all threaten this precious thing to the point where it seems like those we have elected to lead us don’t even know how to carry it in their own hearts.

There is no doubt that the cries of “inadequate response” that are being sounded all over the world are warranted – most recently with hurricane Katrina, most glaringly with the horrifying number of children who are starving to death or dying from AIDS in Africa. The voices of the suffering make it clear – we must erase the boundaries of nationality, creed, colour and political leanings, and find our way to hope.

The fastest way to find it is to give it away.

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