This is How I Am Pro-Life. Now may I please have that phrase back?

I hope the way I live with children celebrates their lives.
I hope men and women keep loving and enjoying each other and having more kids.
I hope those kids know I love them even before conception.
I hope I create community so no one in my life feels like a ‘single’ parent.
I hope I honor my father’s memory and love him after death.
I hope the women in my life know I think their breasts can be life giving miracles as well as something others desire.
I hope I help women love their own breasts and bodies as desirable miracles.
I hope I help women be glad to be alive.
I hope my friendships with people with disabilities celebrates every kind of life.
I hope those friends know that I am glad they are here and that they are not mistakes.
I hope those friendships bear witness that every human is a gift.
I hope to see the end of all murder, including the death penalty.
I hope I share this hope enough to help us imagine and create better things than executions.
I hope when the time comes I will keep you alive long enough to forgive you and ask forgiveness even if you can’t respond.
I hope to know what to do to hate every bit of your suffering.
I hope I listen to other people with respect so there will be no need for war.
I hope to make sure every one is fed so there will be no need for war.
I hope I fight for women’s rights so there will be no need for war.
I hope I learn the art of forgiveness so there will be no need for war.
I hope to learn from those who have sacrificed so we can put an end to war.
I hope I live a freedom that does not come at other’s expense.
I hope I’ll learn to live on the earth in a way that doesn’t waste it for children and their children.
I hope I remember the lives of those who have already gone before us and are now dead so we can all learn to live better together.
I hope our friendship makes it clear to you what good you bring to the world.
I hope I help people help other people get health insurance.
I hope I can consume less so children can have a childhood.
I hope I have courage to protect them.
I hope I love you well and that I live so you will know it.
I hope my hope helps make abuse, hunger, thirst, nakedness, homelessness, disease and imprisonment unthinkable.

These hopes are my prayer and my promise. I will love other people’s attraction, commitments, sexual love, children, life, gifts, failures, age, wisdom, frailty and memory after death.

I live to love you before you are alive and long after you are dead.
I hate death. I want you to live well and long.
I am “pro life” …and may I please have that phrase back?

Doug Harrison,
The Outpatient Monk.


  • Knitting Benedict

    Every hope in thousands, indeed. It is as if the moment that words such as LIFE–words that mean everything–are reduced into a construct of Pro and Con, they are lost to us because they become housed inside an illusory political/judicial sphere. I believe, after reading this cacophonous list of hopes that Hope itself will reclaim these words. Thank you for demonstrating the fullness of the word “Life” again.