Hope at the zoo

I had a bad case of hopeless Sunday morning.

It started while I fixed breakfast while listening to local talk radio, which usually is happy, albeit subdued, on a Sunday morning.  Sadly, the news report wasn’t happy or subdued.

More than a dozen people had been shot the previous night in Chicago – a couple died.  Unemployment was up, Congress and the President couldn’t agree on a budget and there had been various acts of violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Following this depressing dirge, the happy talk-show host came on the air to tell everyone there was still time to rush downtown to join the hundreds of thousands of joyful people attending the annual Gay Pride parade.  This is when my hope level sagged and I wondered if I was having a bad dream or Sodom had been restored.

The miracle of the Mass helped.  But I retained a lingering sense that the world had lost its way.

Then we got to the zoo.  It was your typical Sunday family thing to do for my wife, my daughter and me.  We had packed a lunch and headed to the home of exotic animals and souvenir stands, hoping for a peaceful walk.

I got the walk – and a booster shot of hope.

The zoo parking lot was crammed full and thousands of people wandered among the various animal habitats.  (Yes, zoos don’t have many cages these days – they have habitats.)

And the hope I received came from those big crowds.  Most of them were couples (as in a mom and a dad) accompanied by kids.  Lots of kids.  Big kids.  Little kids.  Smiling, laughing, wide-eyed, excited, running, jumping, happy kids.

It was like being in “Monsters, Inc.” when they discovered that a laugh is more powerful than a scream.  And that give me great hope.

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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One Response to Hope at the zoo

  1. Francois M-D says:

    I remember a certain gloomy Sunday in March a few years ago. I felt just like you did. My wife and I decided to pay a visit to the annual exhibition of a Canadian amateur orchid growers association. The show was held in a dark and humid arena (is there an arena that is not dark and humid?). We were surprised by the beauty and the variety of the orchids though and fascinated by the dedication and sense of aesthic of those who had the patience to produce so beautiful results. That visit enlighted us for the rest of the week.

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