In these pages, I’ve written about the power of singing. Several thousand miles away in South Africa sings out a Future Hope–the Soweto Gospel Choir, kicking off their North American tour this month.
Different styles, countries away. But both St. Victor’s Catholic Church in San Jose, CA and the Soweto Gospel Choir sing in their own styles, expressing Future Hope.
When you think about it, hope and the future are tied together. Some hopes are trivial in the larger sense (“I hope the Giants this Saturday.”) Other hopes are serious (“Sure hope the river in Fargo doesn’t rise above the sandbags.”) But true Future Hope about the important things in life, are often expressed in affirmations: “My Future Hope is for peace on Earth.”
We say things like this during Christmas, New Years, weddings and other life-changing events: “I wish you hope and happiness in the future of your marriage. May you always carry hope in your hearts.”
Future Hope Gives Meaning to Our Lives
Can you imagine a life without Future Hope? Nothing positive and joyous today, tomorrow, next year. That’s why we like associating with hopeful, positive people. They share their Future Hopes with us. They help us define the meaning of life. Despite their own troubles in life, they’re beacons of light leading us in the darkness of an unknown future. They help us deal with doubt.
Singing and Future Hope
Having sung in a couple of church choirs, I know the joy of hope and hopelessness. To sing well, you must breathe. Your lungs fill you with life-giving oxygen. The anxiety and stress of the day somehow fade when singing. You feel more alive. For just a moment, hopelessness fades into Future Hope.
I remember the doctor on Voyager, one of the Star Trek TV series. Although the doctor was a hologram, incapable of emotions, he built a sub-routine in his program that let him sing. One day, when a Voyager crew member stopped by and heard him sing, he was asked: “Doctor, why are your singing?” He responded with “I don’t know; it just makes me feel better.”
Since Voyager was 70,000 light years from Earth, the doc’s comments brought hope. He became an icon of Future Hope–a being who could never die, but could bring hope and solace to the crew.
Surely, we all take pleasures that bring us momentary hope and joy. But the truly great things that happen to us in life are due to our built-in desire for Future Hope. And that’s what I feel about the Soweto Choir of South Africa.