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Issue of October 15, 2014

A hope note
A hope note
Dr. Wayne Willis reflects on life and hope.

Keep hopenomics alive

October 09, 2013 | 10:47 AM

Some of the new words in dictionaries this year are "google" used as a verb and "sexting" for sending sexually explicit pictures over a cell phone.

If I could coin one word to become part of our vocabulary, it would be "hopenomics." Let me explain.

The word economics comes from two Greek words, oikos meaning house and nomos meaning law. An economist was originally one who "laid down the law" in managing the treasures of a household (or city or nation). The emphasis in the word is on stewardship, distributing assets wisely, responsibly and resourcefully.

Most of us aim to be conscientious about doing that. We draw up budgets, pay off credit cards, give children allowances and diversify investments. We mean to care for our assets wisely and responsibly.

What would it look like if we applied commensurate intentionality and acumen to hope?

What if parents majored in keeping a sparkle in their children's eyes over signing them up for everything and setting the bar for parental approval sky-high?

What if marriages majored in thoughtfulness and affirmation of each other over acquiring the next thing and rising one more rung on the social ladder?

What if teachers were free to fire students' imaginations and encourage critical, creative thinking over teaching answers for the next test?

What if preachers majored in lifting up parishioners' spirits and fortifying them for Monday struggles and inspiring them to serve suffering humanity over indoctrination on parochial niceties and dissing those who disagree?

Hopenomics, simply put, values people over things, integrity over appearances, goodness over rightness and lifting others up over pulling others down. And hopenomics always asks, according to the Great Law of the Iroquois, how our actions today will affect the well-being of children seven generations after us.

Dr. Wayne Willis

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email