Audacity to Hope Day
Although this day is not directly tied to former President Barack Obama, the first case of its existence came after his rise to prominence, and the phrase itself is connected to him. In 2006 he published The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. The phrase “Audacity of Hope” was also the title of his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which skyrocketed him into the public consciousness. Obama modified the phrase “audacity to hope” from a 1990 sermon of controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright, who had referenced G.F. Watts’ painting, Hope. Wright described Hope in this way:
With her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God ... To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope... that's the real word God will have us hear from this passage and from Watt's painting.
Although the phrase is most connected to Obama, the holiday is for everyone across the world, regardless of their political persuasion. The day is for all those who hope, try, and work towards things that seems impossible. It is a day for all those who are in dire straits, but hope for a new dawn ahead.
How to Observe
The day can be used to reexamine your goals, find paths to achieve them, and instill in yourself the belief that your goals are attainable. The hope that you can achieve your goal is what will drive you forward. It is a day to reflect on all those who have hoped in the past, and to use their hope to inspire you. Sometimes hope may seem like all you have left, but it can’t be quashed. As Andy Dusfresne said in The Shawshank Redemption, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."