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Dec 2019
“[At the moment, the human world is a corrupt force.] Greed has poisoned [human lives], has barricaded the world with hate, and has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and [understand] too little.

However [some] continue, indefatigably, to reach out. There’s just no way [a few of us] can single-handedly save the world or, perhaps, even make a perceptible difference – but how ashamed [those few] would be to let a day pass without making one more effort.

[Like water, we can be] the highest good. Water gives life to the ten thousand things, and [does not fear its courses]. It flows in places humans reject and so [creates unity]. [It is an element that] can take any form. [Water] can drift without effort one moment, then pound down in a torrent the very next [moment, as a single force]. [And yes, It is true that the efforts of those few] amount to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?

[Now just] Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human [unity]. In dwelling, [we could] be close to the land. In meditation, [we could] go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, [we could] be gentle and kind. In speech, [we could] be true. In ruling, [we could] be just. In business, [we could] be competent. In action, [we would be sure to] watch the timing and the season. We may even have no reason to fight each other, and thus no reason to blame each other.

In [our] hands, my fellow [droplets], will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since [civilization began], each of our generations has been summoned to give testimony to [the greatness of life.] We’ve all wanted to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful.

Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

In the process of [this struggle], we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct [this struggle] on the high plains of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our [honest efforts] to degenerate into [criminal high jinks]. We must rise to the majestic heights of meeting [corrupt] force with [pure] force, [or suffer the failure of our efforts under an inequitable and desperate silence.]”
SOURCES, in order:
Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator’s Speech
Isaac Asimov
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 (from Giu Fu Feng’s sparkling translation)
Spike Lee, Cowboy Beebop
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 8 (from Giu Fu Feng’s sparkling translation)
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
JFK, Inaugural Address
Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator’s Speech
JFK, Inaugural address
Martin Luther King, Jr’s I Have a Dream Speech
JΛM
Written by
JΛM
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