Monday, July 1, 2013
Let the cynics bloviate and yell; let them post their vile, slobbering, vitriolic harangues about what precisely ails society (often without a remedy to fix said problem). Let them loudly pontificate about our impending doom until their little charlatan heart is content. But, here’s the truth: There has Never Been a Better Time to Be Alive! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? I mean, we’re surrounded by negative imagery, buried knee deep in a culture that often elevates the superficial above the substantial, and, as I’ve often said, much of our media murmur has become a repository of clumsy gibberish. Fine. I’ll grant you that. That being said, I’d like you to ponder this: You don’t have to look too far to see little miraculous things happening all around you. The whole world is teeming with amazing stories and things waiting to be discovered/uncovered/remembered. Every day, ordinary people are finding the courage to do heroic things. For every news story that glorifies the criminal entanglements of a narcissistic celebrity or athlete, there are hundreds of ordinary people making this whole collective, democratic experiment work. Every moment that passes, we’re closer to cures for poverty, famine and infectious or fatal diseases. The technological advances I’ve seen in my lifetime alone are immeasurably marvelous. The world is smaller every day. Appeals to old divisions, be they ethnic, racial, gender-based, nationalistic, religious, etc; they continue to fall on the deaf ears of a more warmhearted, kind-spirited, pluralistic youth. We’re slowly beginning to realize there are no strangers. We’re all fashioned from the same genetic material. Whatever you choose to call it, whatever path you walk, please allow me to assert that despite the occasional evidence to the contrary, today is better than yesterday and it always will be. There are citizens in every corner of the world who suffer bereavement with honor, who set aside archaic servile prejudices to serve their fellow human beings, who undergo horrific circumstances without panic and who endure the assault of every imaginable kind of small-minded, fundamentalist condemnation without succumbing to similar thinking in return. As we move forward, please take the time to remember that you can choose to be something other than a cynic. That bandwagon is terribly unoriginal. Don’t consume culture, but choose to create it. We can make the choice to makes our lives matter. I believe in you. Be unreasonably good. Take risks. Articulate a bold vision for your own future. We wait to delight in you. Let the cynics criticize your greatness without regard to their cowardice. Concentrate, instead, on delivering your gifts. I will humbly promise to do the same. Let’s show the world we’re worth our salt and so much more.