Like an armchair quarterback I sit here in comfort taking stock of the situation on this fine Monday morning. While others are getting a head start on all of the President’s Day sales, I am basking in the glow of my computer, analyzing the generation and distribution of power, wealth, and knowledge. These issues seem to stay in the forefront of public discourse that is so fascinating to observe. The opinions (and that is really all that they are) of those who prognosticate the end of the world as we know it do raise some important questions. Should I be concerned with the proliferation of nuclear weapons or eBooks? Should there be a federal mandate to tell me which of these issues I should consider more important? Should ignorance and fear be allowed to derail the discussion?
Like most people, I try to make it through the day without thinking about who might be poised to flip the switch that sends us all up in one final inglorious mushroom cloud. Likewise I just don’t see the point in arguing if the foundation of civilization is written in stone or the stars. We all have a responsibility to participate in the decision-making process, of course. Is it fair to just agree to disagree and move on or must I step into the fray and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have made it their mission to rally the troops and do more than observe?
I could go to a middle school and help create an outdoor learning center where students can care for the earth and marvel at the power of nature. I could go to a senior center and read aloud to a group of veterans who long to hear the inspirational words of a dreamer that have been hidden on a dusty bookshelf. Passionate people do these things every day. They breathe new life into ordinary activities and make a real difference in the world without needing to receive constant recognition. Maybe it is better to join their ranks and live to fight another day.