On the importance of hope and dedication

2006-06-02

in Politics, Rants, The environment

Happy birthday Elise Haynes

Tonight, I have been speaking with friends of mine about the challenges of these living generations, and the opportunities afforded to us. On the basis of our wealth, we can diminish and subdue the greatest scourges that impact humanity: scourges of poverty and disease. On the basis of our compassion, we might overcome the forces that drive us apart from one another, when we are fundamentally so close. We are inescapably pressed together in such a tiny corner of the cosmos.

Imagine if John Kennedy’s inaugural address could be modified, so as to serve the great challenge of our time:

We choose to [end extreme poverty] in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

We can deal with the horrors of infectious disease and poverty. We can work to mitigate the warlike and genocidal qualities of dictators and governments. We can and must work for a better world. It is my enduring hope, and all my faith in humanity, that we shall.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous June 2, 2006 at 1:51 am

“I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge as made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.”

Milan June 2, 2006 at 11:24 am

I really does seem as though I should see this Charlie Chaplin film. It certainly doesn’t seem to be the slapstick with which he is generally associated.

Anonymous June 2, 2006 at 7:05 pm

This is an awfully starry-eyed assessment. It’s good, I suppose, to see that going to grad school doesn’t automatically generate as much deep seated cynicism as most grads seem to have.

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