Monday, December 26, 2005

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I can remember a time when the idea of living to see the year 2000 seemed like a fantasy. My childlike mind could hardly grasp the idea of being able to say 'two thousand and one, or two thousand and six'.
In our school books there were pictures of what the world might be like by the turn of the century. We'd have cars that didn't need roads, and our own personal flying packs. Of course there would be no hunger by then. Scientist would have discovered a way to use seaweed to feed the multitudes of starving. There'd be no homeless, or unemployed. People would live into the triple digits because there would have been miraculous discoveries that would enable us to annihilate things like heart disease, and strokes. It would be a wonderful world.
Well here we are. On the cusp of the year two thousand and six. We do have cars that fly. Unfortunately they still need roads, and kill thousands every year in the process of flying down those roads. Nobody I know has a personal flying pack. Whatever happen to that idea? A few do live to see the triple digits. But very few are Americans. In the wealthiest country in the world we have 43 million people without health insurance or access to decent health care. We have more homeless and unemployed, than ever. And this was the year we discovered our government was no better at handling a national disaster than any third world country. Scientist are trying to find ways to clone us but they can't find ways to feed us off the earths meager supplies. Disease and famine still haunt our planet, and some days it seems like Angelina Jolie may be the only person who really gives a damn. Couples will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to 'make' a baby, but won't even entertain the idea of adopting one of the millions that are homeless and alone. The more, more, more for me mentality has long ago overtaken the give unto thy brethren sentiment.
Not only are we a nation at war with the world, but we're a nation at war with each other. The right hates the left. The leftist tree huggers have this insane idea that we should all just try to love one another. The idea of live and let live is being stomped into the ground. The religious right claims the United States is a Christian nation, and their darned tired of having to apologize for their religious beliefs. Of course the fact that most of these 'Christians' rarely attend church and have the generosity of a gnat, seems to be a moot point. They say their Christians but they won't even reach out to help their families (at least not without whining about it) much less their neighbors.
Oh what a mess our world is in. Yet we as humans still find hope. We seek out the few and small examples of human kindness and we let them be our guide. We let them be the light that shines in the dark night.
Oddly enough when you look to see who's reaching out you find people like Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Oprah Winfry, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Warren Beatty, and George Clooney. You know, those people the media tells us have no business voicing their opinions on politics. How many politicians did you see wading through waist deep, filthy, water to bring food, clothing and rescue to those in New Orleans? None. Not one. But I did see Sean Penn, and Aaron Neville, and Tim McGraw. I did see Harry Connick Jr out there slushing through the dirty water. I did see George Clooney and John Tavolta fly in plane loads of food, clothing, medical supplies.

So yes, Virginia there is good in this troubled old world. It's out there. No, you won't see much about it in the media. Good will doesn't make big headlines. But it's there. And that means there's hope. Hope that one day we will all be able to say, "I did what I could". But we won't. Because it isn't important that anyone know we did it. It's only important that we did.

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