September 6th, 2006 12:01 EST
I Have Seen The Future; Part 3 of 3
The point of self-improvement isn`t to be perfect, the point is that we try to be, while never assuming we`ve ever quite achieved it--- because we never will and never can. The journey towards perfection--- the effort-- is more important than arriving at the destination. It is the attempt that matters. No one is perfect, there is always room for improvement, and there is always more to learn, more to do, more to be. And I have no delusions that I`m excluded, from any of this. I`m speaking to myself, and of myself, as much as anyone else who will listen. In pleading my case, I hope I am persuasive enough to convince and compel you to accept the urgency, sincerity and validity of my claims. This is not an order; I can`t force you to comply--- even if I wanted to. Which I don`t, since you must choose for yourself, and be free to do so voluntarily " or else your participation and everything I`ve said is ultimately meaningless. All I can do to gain your allegiance is request your help, your contribution, your commitment. You have the power to affirm or deny. So, here I am, asking. Consider it a rhetorical question.
None of us can do this alone. People either stand with us, stand against us, or stand aside--- independently or indifferently. But we are all in this life together. Many of us have thought at some point, there has got to be more to life than this. " And you`re right.
So as long as we`re all here, why not help each other to make this thing called life more pleasant, more satisfying, more meaningful? To accept responsibility for the future is to accept responsibility for ourselves " and for each other, if necessary. There cannot be one without the other. It is necessary that we be held accountable for our actions (and inactions), to hold ourselves accountable, both prior and after these actions.
Power is a means to an end, not the end itself. Do whatever goodness it is in your power and in your inclination to do, to the best of your ability, with as much honor and integrity as you can muster.
Everything we think and do proceeds first and fundamentally from attitude. In order for us to change the world for the better, each of us must seek and strive to change our attitude for the better, so that we treat ourselves and each other better. So that we treat our world better. What we do (or don`t do) has repercussions. Cause and effect. We are all connected, all concerned, all involved.
This refers to our fellow man now, as well as in the future. We must become better people, for us to be able to make better worlds. To accomplish this common goal, this mutually beneficial objective, we may be called upon and required to make difficult choices and determinations. We must be willing to take risks, perform arduous and awkward tasks, doing whatever is necessary in the pursuit of this vision.
It is imperative, for the sake of humanity`s future, that we take the future, as well as our responsibility for it and to it, much more seriously. We cannot afford to continue apathetically shrugging, casually ignoring, and lazily passing the buck. Extending that colloquialism: the buck stops here, with every one of us.
It has to. We are all shepherds " stewards of the future. It is up to us " it is up to you and me, to create the future we want. This is not my problem. This is not your problem. This is not her or his or their problem. Governments will not save us. Corporations will not save us. Scientists will not save us. Philosophers will not save us. Gods (or their self-appointed representatives) will not save us.
All of them are effectively powerless without mankind`s input " the deeds of individuals.
The matter of the future is OUR problem to solve, our shared burden, and our shared blessing. Mankind`s.
Yesterday, today and tomorrow. To protect our future, we must confront our past.
The future will come, with or without us, whether we want or like it and whether we are ready or not. The only question is: what kind of future will it be?
Either way, we " the species-- will get the future we deserve which we form by our own hands, our own initiative. Or lack, thereof.
I realize this topic is a recurring theme in my writing, and for that I need not apologize.
I reiterate and elaborate only because I am so passionate about it; the future is an important subject to me, and I believe it is important to humanity. Important so, that our humanity may thrive, and not just survive. The future will be determined in the past, by the past " that is, to say, now " in our present.
We are working, as we surely must, for nothing less than the fate of Mankind.
Gene Roddenberry, Great Bird of the Galaxy, realized all of this.
He would probably agree that Star Trek isn`t the answer, it is merely the question.
The answer, he might say, is humanity " within humanity.
Gene wasn`t a messiah, he wasn`t a saint, he wasn`t a seer, he wasn`t perfect, and he wasn`t a figurehead. He didn`t intend to be, didn`t claim to be, and didn`t want to be regarded as such. He was just a good man with a good idea. He was human, with all the pluses and minuses that entails.
And he saw what needed to be done, even if he struggled to live up to his own ideals.
He was and did more than just Star Trek, and wished to be recognized as such-- just as Star Trek is more than Gene, and more than Gene`s creation.
For him, the future existed, merely waiting for us to arrive, for us to make it happen.
The kind of future Gene envisioned wasn`t only possible, not just a possibility, it was real to him. He saw it as clearly in his mind`s eye as his own image in the mirror.
Actually, probably more so. He saw it as a certainty, because-- an optimist and humanist to the end, he loved humanity and believed in humanity. I think that if there is to be a future for us, we would have to make his vision a reality. Die trying, or die not trying.
Let it be in the spirit of this hope and faith that we honor Gene`s legacy, and commemorate the continuing voyages of Star Trek. "Perhaps one of the primary features of `Star Trek` that made it different from other shows was, it believed that humans are improving-- they will vastly improve in the 23rd century."
"I believe in humanity. We are an incredible species. We`re still just a child creature; we`re still being nasty to each other. And all children go through those phases. We`re growing up, we`re moving into adolescence now. When we grow up-- man, we`re going to be something!"
We must remember that the promise of tomorrow will not be fulfilled easily. The collective commitment of our nations, as well as the vision, wisdom and hard work of many, many individuals will be required to bring our dreams to fruition. " -- Gene Roddenberry