Monday, June 26, 2017

#177 / Whee, The People!

Thomas Friedman, columnist for The New York Times, was asked, recently, what he "fears the most these days?" One of his responses was that he feared "the end of truth." 

Friedman's encounter with the Canadian gentleman who posed that, "what do you fear the most?" question led to a column in The Times. I guess I'm turning that encounter into a blog posting. 

Still pondering the "what do you fear most?" question, Friedman asked a friend, Dov Seidman, what Seidman thought was "happening to us." Siedman said that we are experiencing "an assault on the very foundations of our society and democracy - the twin pillars of truth and trust." Furthermore, Seidman apparently suggested that authority is supposed to come from "We the people," but that there "is no 'we' anymore, because 'we' no longer share basic truths."

I think Friedman's discussion is well worth reading, and I like his conclusion, which is that the "We," as in "We, the people," includes everyone: 

In the long run, the only thing that will save us is if more people — no matter what age, color, gender or faith — build moral authority in their respective realms and then use it to do big, meaningful things. Use it to run for office, start a company, operate a school, lead a movement or build a community organization. And in so doing you can help put the “We” back in “We the people.”

In other words, I'd like to suggest, let's not operate out of "fear." Instead, let's put the "Whee" back in "We, the people." 

Instead of being immobilized by fear, we can be exuberant in our creativity, because everything that is, begins first as an idea, or as a hope, or as a dream in some individual person's heart and mind. The human world that "we" inhabit, and this does mean all of us, is the result of our past and present creative actions. In the human world that we create, nothing is "inevitable," and nothing is "impossible." That means "bad" things are possible, just as "good" ones are, so deciding whether we should "fear" the bad possibilities, as opposed to being energized by the good possibilities, is really a question about whether we can trust the truth that reality is, in the end, what we first envision and then create. 

The world we inhabit is going to depend, in the end, on what WE do, and Friedman's right, that means every one of us is going to get to help paint the picture. 


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