This morning, while sleeping and waking, I had “Radio Flyer” playing on the television. Do you remember that movie? It came out in 1992 and I probably saw it in college.
The basic story is about two young brothers, their dog, their turtle, their mom who works nights, and their alcoholic abusive father. The boys play and explore in the neighborhood around them. They are typical kids, trying desperately to avoid their father and the beatings he constantly instills on the youngest boy.
The movie is full of a lot of pain. It is heartbreaking to watch and know that the little boy cannot protect himself. And that isn’t his job. He needs to be a child and not worry about needing protection, but that isn’t his reality. His reality is that his father brutally beats him because he can. The father is like most abusers and manipulators. He knows who he can attack and encounter the least resistance.
The other side of the movie is the plan the boys put together to get away. It is the hope of getting away that keeps them going. The escape is not one people in abusive situations usually have, but if you haven’t seen the movie, please watch it. You have permission to fast forward through the tough parts. Get enough of the story to get to the end. Watch it. Let it sink in.
And don’t give up.
Hope is a scary and tricky thing. It can mislead us and disappoint us. It can take us places we never expected to go. It can lead us into new territory, which is not always comfortable. It can make us grow. It can make us cautious. It can also set us free.
Hope is something we know, but don’t know. It is something we understand, that also perplexes us. Jennifer and I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the name for our site. Learninghope embodies this spirit. We know hope, but sometimes it eludes us. In those times, we must work to relearn it. Some circumstances have caused us to lose hope, but I hope, you keep striving to learn it. The concept of learninghope is a little peculiar, as is the journey to get to hope. Sometimes we have to learn to create hope when it seems there is none.
I hoped that the little boys in “Radio Flyer” got away. I hoped that they never had to be abused again.
I hope that for every person who feels trapped. I hope you have at least one person who listens to you and helps nurture your dreams. I hope you not only learn to fly, but I hope you learn to soar.