Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ann Deavere on hope & determination (heard on NPR)

Philosopher Cornell West, according to Ann Deavere: Hope and optimism are different. Optimism, you look out the window, you say it looks pretty good out there. Hope says it doesn't look good at all. It doesn't look good at all. Evidence doesn't look good at all, but I'm going to go beyond the evidence, and create new possibilities based on vision, become contagious to allow people to engage in heroic actions always against odds, no guarantee whatsoever, that's hope.

Ann Deavere on rodeo bull rider Brent Williams" Think about it, we shouldn't be able to stay on top of bulls trying to buck you off cause we weigh like a hundred fifty pounds bull weighs over 2,000 pounds. but I think what keeps you on top of that bull is determination, something in side you.

Toughness is when you meet that thing that is going to defeat you, how do you ride that bull? The thing that keeps you going is this understanding that we are small, that we weigh a hundred fifty pounds, but the bull... What keeps you going is determination. And the determination is hooked into a belief that if you keep going, if you struggle, something really beautiful is going to happen.

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