Monday, March 30, 2009
A SINGULAR LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
Last week I received an email from the University of Michigan reminding me that March 28th from 8:30 - 9:30 was "Earth Hour" and that they were encouraging me to turn off all lights during that hour to "support the Earth."
Needless to say, I was rather outraged that a supposed institution of "higher learning" (let alone one I was associated with) seemed to feel that light was a bad thing and that darkness was some sort of tribute to the planet.
In a very real sense, this attitude is nothing more than a rather transparent cover for a deep-seated hatred of human life and achievement. It represents an animosity toward human civilization in general; and specifically, its goal is to rebuke the country that stands as the beacon of light and liberty for all of human civilization--that is, America.
Throughout our relatively short, but amazing history, Americans have been characterized by the possession of a rather formidable belief that freedom is so valuable, it is worth dying for.
The precioous liberty that was bequeathed to us just a few generations ago was an inseparable aspect of our lives; like the air we breath or the warm sun on our faces. We occasionally took it for granted and imagined that it would always be there.; but in every generation of Americans there was always those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect and preserve our liberty; and to bring its blessings and the light of its progress to others.
But even we tend to forget what a singularity America was when it was first founded two plus centuries ago; and what a singularity it remains to this very day. In the history of a world awash in human misery, bondage and oppression, America remains the "shining city" of the human mind, made real; it is a lone beacon of freedom and hope and opportunity that slices through a darkness that has shrouded the world since the dawn of time.
That darkness had dominion over the human soul.
And then, a few simple words were written which altered time and space forever; and the continuity of the darkness was broken . The universe was forced to shift to accommodate this unprecedented, remarkable idea, that glowed so brightly, it upset the balance of all those invisible forces impacting human destiny. And even though the raw power and energy of this bright new paradigm is still rippling through the time-space continuum, a higher, more perfect equilibrium was suddenly achieved in human affairs: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
In a universe of moral chaos; in a world of pain and suffering and hopelessness, America was founded and the world has never been in total darkness again.
But now there are forces in the world that want to extinguish the light. They mask their goals with rhetoric about "saving the planet", but make no mistake, the ultimate goal is to "save" the planet by limiting or reversing the progress of human life and civilization. They have little or no desire to use human ingenuity or achievement to find innovative solutions to keeping our planet healthy; instead, they are motivated by a hatred of all that makes us human in the first place. Their goal is nothing less than the enslavement of the human mind.
America was never perfect, but it was never conceived to be some abstract utopia showcasing human perfection. The 56 men who came together to usher it forth understood that in order to form a more perfect union they had to pledge their lifes, their fortunes and most of all, their sacred honor. They understood clearly that human freedom only guarantees that mistakes will be made; but that the human soul is only able to thrive when human nature is allowed to be free. Further, they understood that society too, will inevitably progress when the individual human soul is unchained.
A singularity, after all, is not perfect, it is simply a unique event in time.
Whatever our faults--and there are many-- our repeated willingness to stand and die for this incredible, shining idea of human freedom has never been one of them. This willingness exists at the heart of all our highest values; and it defines the essence of the primarily benevolent, generous--and often contemptously dismissed as naive and unsophisticated--character we present toward the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, those are the very traits that make us the object of all that envy, rage, contempt and reflex hatred that has been directed toward our country in recent decades.
For most of its history, America has been at the leading edge of Western civilization, promoting protecting, and nurturing the classical liberal values of that Civilization, which include freedom, democracy and individualism.
Those are the values that have brought light and progress to humanity. And that is what we need to be reminded of every day--especially now when the dark is rising once again.
At any rate, I deliberately turned on all the lights in every room in my house for that hour.