Asking Ourselves to Create a Better Version of Ourselves

At this moment it would be understandable to wonder not only whether humanity will survive, but whether , our natural narcissism aside, it should. Amidst all of our phenomenal technological wonders reside disgusting levels of racism, jingoism, sexism, nationalism, intolerance, and innumerable inequalities, as well as relational obtuseness and callousness. Small wonder that we watch the news now wondering what will happen tomorrow to the citizens of Seoul  and Pyongyang and derivatively the rest of us.

Reviewing my blog posts I experience a related sense of sober disappointment.  So much is going wrong.

And then I stumble upon something incredibly inspirational—something that one of us has done. Hope leaps skyward. We can be so much better than we are.  Look what she or he has done.

If you are at all like me, your early bedroom was papered with those few humans who seemed to point to the realm of a better you. For me (how embarrassing) it was famous athletes who reminded me that I had so far to go at whatever athletic endeavor I attempted.  Then in college Einstein and Aristotle replaced pitchers, jump shot artists, and all-Pro passers. They both humbled me and offered me assistance and inspiration as I followed far behind them.

Who would be on your wall now?  I found someone, and I want you to meet her just because she may do for you what she surely did for me. She persuaded me very quickly that you and I are a worthwhile project in the making. We do not have to surrender to fatigue, acting our age, or the certain aches and pains of advancing years. We can improve. We cannot rearrange the habits and idiosyncracies of Trump, Assad, or  Kim Jong-un, but we most certainly can (as Voltaire’s Candide concludes) tend our own gardens in a manner that offers hope.

Let me introduce you to Ida Keeling .

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