Hope: Paying it Forward


I sat in my car Saturday afternoon reading Facebook comments to Nicholas D. Kristof’s question asking what were you doing on 9/11/01 and what have we learned. On that day I sat with my coworkers watching the events unfold on tv. One of them was from NY; that was probably my only concrete connection to the city other than the fact I had visited and gone up to the observation deck in the towers. My thoughts went to my then 4 month old daughter. I wondered what sort of world she would grow up in and inherit. That uncertainty still invades my thoughts. I try to do my best to prepare her for what is outside our door.

As fall begins to set in, I feel I am in a new place. For the past four years, I have have been navigating the world of affordable housing and community development. The last two years that path has included an intern who became my right hand. She started with a great work ethic but not much experience. She has learned so much and it has been great to watch her grow. Over the last few weeks I have watched her move on to a new position.

For my now 9 year old daughter, for the interns I work with, for the new Girl Scout troop I am leading and other kids I teach, I continue to hope for the future. I hope that a little of what I do will make their world better, make our place better. If nothing else on 9/11, I pass on that hope.

Image by Steve Snodgrass