Hope, Love & Peace




“Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.




Did you know that the Greek language has more than one word for love?
In the English language we often group our love of chocolate chip cookies and our partner into one blanket statement. Perhaps some of you talk affectionately to your cookie before devouring it, but most likely you understand that the feelings and desires you have towards a food and a person are very different concepts. The Greek love words: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē tease apart some of the ways we display our affections.
Agápe love is an unconditional good will one has towards another, especially towards children or spouses. It is also found within the religious context of God’s love for man. Eros is the passionate love one has for a sexual partner, but also applies to the transcendent truth found in beauty. Philia may sound more familiar because it is a root word found in the city of Philadelphia, which means, “City of brotherly love.” Likewise, philia is a friend-type of love. Storge is predominantly used to describe affection between family members.
So, what good is it to know the different words for love in a language we do not know or use? Well, your family and friends (and maybe even your chocolate chip cookie) might appreciate hearing the specifics of why they are special and important to you. Try it out and see what happens!
When you hear the word ‘peace,’ what comes to mind? I often picture myself swinging gently in a hammock, listening to the seagulls cry and the waves softly crashing to the shore. I can smell the salty air and feel the warmth of the sun embrace my skin (although the shade would probably be better because I am fair-skinned.) The details are inconsequential.
What strikes me is the fact that in my version of peace, it is one that is very me-centered. I think of inner-peace or what would make me feel calm and relaxed. There is nothing wrong with finding this type of peace because we often need those mental, physical, and spiritual breaks from everyday stressors.
But peace can often look like advocacy for others. Sometimes it is confronting the wrongs of life to bring a more harmonious realm of existence to everyone.
September 21st is such a day. Check out http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/ to learn more about the International Day of Peace.

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

Retrieved from: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42889/hope-is-the-thing-with-feathers-314