Sunday, August 30, 2009
More Doom and Gloom? What a Way to End My Week!
From my balcony on the top turret of the Fortress of Solitude I see a haze blanketing Utah Valley. That means fire or desert dust carried in by a strong west wind. If its fire then Utah is on the receiving end of another California import. Isn’t it enough that Utah has become the sanctuary for thousands of Californians escaping across Nevada’s desert for this oasis of civility? Why must they bring the smoke from their fires with them? May I remind everyone that we don’t need lessons from out of state visitors on the correct way to pollute our air. We do well enough on our own thank you very much.
I’m actually pleased so many move to Utah every year. If they keep coming our home values will increase. Maybe we can recoup some of the losses we’ve taken because of this little bump in the road called The Great Recession. It’s gotten so bad I hesitate to open my investment's quarterly reports fearing the depressing news will dampen even more my strained optimistic mood about the world we live in. By the way, is it just me or have you noticed a general sense of pessimism in the food, water and air? Everyone I know seems to be afflicted to one degree or another by pure unrefined negativity.
Now, I consider myself an optimist and sit at one end of future’s teeter totter. I know several that sit opposite on the pessimistic side of this handy playground example. Most times our numbers are fairly equal. There are enough like me that balance the “glass is half empty” crowd opposite. Lately I feel myself and those with me, starting to pick up altitude as more and more scoot down the plank toward the other side.
I’ll give you an example. Yesterday before leaving the Space Center I was stopped by a member of Central’s staff.
“Come here, I’ve got something to share with you,” he said while curling his index finger as one does when you want someone to follow. “I don’t know if I should be sharing this or not but I think you’d like to know.” He said as we turned down an empty hallway.
I leaned up against the brick preparing myself for Earth shattering news. My mind sped through the possibilities. I started with the Swine Flu, wondering if it mutated and killing half everyone it infects. While my secret bearer glanced up and down the hallway to see if anyone else was within earshot, my mind walked carefully across a mental tightrope to the other extreme - the possible news that an asteroid large enough to snuff out mankind was discovered and the government decided not to inform the general public to prevent mass panic. Of course, I then understood why I was being told. I would be one of those considered too important to die and would therefore be given special instructions on when and where to gather at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado for a briefing and then journey with all the others sharing my uniqueness, through the Star Gate to Earth 2 in some far distant corner of the Galaxy with instruction to continue the Human story on another shore.
“A friend of mine was at a wedding reception yesterday and was talking to another friend of someone who’s husband is a policeman. Well, he told his friend who then told mine that he was called to Washington for special training on what is about to happen. He told this person that after hearing about this unspoken event that he didn’t want to remain a policeman and decided to begin looking for other work. Well, what do you think?” he asked, searching my face to see if I understood the gravity of what he had just shared.
At that moment I felt myself rise higher out of balance on emotion’s teeter totter. What does one say when confronted with news like that? If its true then why look for other work? Surely everything we know and love is about to be pulled from us. Surely he implied mass rioting and looting and, according to this person, possible cannibalism......... .
“Well, I’m glad I live in Utah Valley,” I answered.
“Why is that?” he questioned. "Even people in Utah Valley will do unspeakable things if they are hungry... well you know what I mean."
“The reason I’m glad is because at least here in the center of Mormonism there is another governing structure in place if civil authority breaks down. That’s what I'm saying.”
It was the most positive thing I thought I could say at that moment and still remain respectful of his feelings. In reality I wanted to say that I didn’t belief a word of it and thought that it, along with all the other things I’ve heard whispered around the water cooler and spread over the internet was just the wailing of the doom sayers, who I might add, have always been here, living among us. During good times they generally remain silent and if pushed to the wall will tell you the world is doomed to destruction but they never know when this will happen. When times are bad, like now, they emerge from their basements into the sunlight, rubbing their eyes in an attempt to adjust to the beautiful world around them and a to the light of a kind warm sun shining on all equally and justly.
In the end I turned the conversation’s direction into something benign. Moments later I was in the Battlestar warping for home grateful another week at the Space Center was over and even more grateful for a day off to recharge and rewit myself for more of the same.
Friends, as I’ve said before and will say often. This world has been scheduled for destruction ever since man first looked into the stars to try to read their messages for the future. Yet are we not all still here?
Do I believe the world will end some day? Yes. My religion gives me an answer to that, and if I wasn’t religious then the answer is still yes. Nature will see to the Earth’s demise. One day the sun will bake the planet as it expands its diameter into old age.
So, we are doomed no matter what. I suppose its all a matter of time, isn’t it?
Until then, I need more of you to slide down the teeter totter to my side and lets balance out those that see darkness , doom and despair around every corner.
Listen, we got ourselves into this mess so we need to get ourselves out of it. Let’s become the force for good by setting the proper example to the next generation. Let’s borrow money only when absolutely needed for major purchases. Let’s stay out of debt even if it means giving up our rabid desire to keep up with the Jones. Let’s live within our means even it means wearing those pants and shoes a bit longer before spending money to replace them. Let’s spend more time together as families building righteous walls. Righteous walls protect us from the real and observed darkness that exists and has always existed in this world, yet open to let in the good and beautiful. Let’s use the power of our voices and speak out for what we believe, be it republican , democrat or independent. Let’s put muscle behind our voice by becoming involved in community affairs. Volunteer for a local charity. Volunteer at your school. Volunteer to work for a candidate that shares your core values.
Here is one voice that says the world is good but can be better. I see possibilities and to me, the future looks bright if we get involved with others of like mind and make the world the place we want it to be. We’ve one life and one planet to live it on in the vastness of space. Get educated, get involved, and believe the best is still to come.
Now make it so.
I'm finished and stepping off my soap box. Sorry for the length of this rant. If you know me you know I can be long winded.........................but I hope interesting......... (don't answer that).