How we went from ‘Yes. We Can’ to ‘No, you can’t’ in such a short period of time has broken my heart. Looking out for number one never went away and the ‘me generation’ still reigns supreme.
Yes, we can, was optimistic, but it was steamrolled by, no, you can’t. We see the price our society is willing to pay for that. We know what our society can be bullied into doing. No, you can’t. Right?
Look, I know this is preachy. I know in the great scheme of the universe, mine is but a photon of a thought. But that thought can’t be dimmed. I don’t want to say no, you can’t.
That is the point. No, you can’t is an accusation as much as an edict. Yes, we can, is as communal as much as an aspiration. Yet this is where we are. This is exactly what the nihilists and deists want. If we are screaming at each other, we won’t feel the water lapping our ankles.
I finished that and let out a long and sad sigh. Let me make one last pitch. Even if you don’t believe we are dangerously changing our planet, wouldn’t you want to leave it in good shape anyway? Remember, we are never alone on this third rock from the sun. What I do can affect you and vice-versa.
If we aren’t careful, there may be none of us left to affect. If you could make one little difference, would you? If your answer is no, then move aside. Stay in your shell. Tell me I can’t change things. Say, no, you can’t.
Regardless, if you know me, I will.
The great sci-fi author David Gerrold introduced an idea to me years ago in his Chtorr books. It is the question of whether you are a guest or a host.
A guest expects someone to clean their bathroom, make their bed, and generally be catered to. A host is the one doing the cleaning and catering. The guest doesn’t worry if the bed is made, because it will be.
I vow to be a host. I want there to be another millennium of tomorrows. To my mind, this isn’t a question of right and left, but it has been made one. So, for right now, I am willing to settle for, yes, I can and hope that you can too.