Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 4, 2016

How will they see us in 2050?

By Jim Turner | Nov 17, 2016

To the editor:

George Bernard Shaw: “Some men see the world as it is and ask, why? Other men see the world as it could be and ask, why not?”

It won’t be about Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives; it never was and it never will be. The future will judge us by the way we responded to the issues of our time, the challenges, the adversity. If we were prosperous, did we save any money? If we were in a recession did we help the poor and the unemployed? If our neighbors were suffering, did we offer aid and comfort? If our children were in need of shelter, food, clothing and medicine, did we provide it? If there was war did we try to end it?

How about what our scientists have told us. Are we committed to addressing global warming? Are we ready to look honestly at the effects of genetically engineered food? How much time do we spend connected to electronic devices? Is a peaceful world everyone’s responsibility? Or just the few who care to at least try. Does the superradiance effect make sense? Is it worth a try?

How do we look at the past? Our ancestors? Say 50 years back? Did they tell the truth about the dangers of smoking? Or were there still many who said the evidence was not “settled?” Did they truly respond with open hearts to the struggle for civil rights in this country? Did they try to stop nuclear proliferation? The Vietnam war? When civilian casualties vastly outnumbered military casualties did they even question the reasons to go to war? When the Club of Rome presented incontrovertible evidence of the damage to our environment by CO2 – fossil fuels – did they resolve to address it? When three of our nation’s leaders were assassinated did they demand to know the truth? Did they take care of our veterans returning from Vietnam?

The moral imperative in the time we live in – as is true of any time in our history – is to ask ourselves the hard questions: face the truth and then work together to build a better world. But at the very least we should not obstruct those who are trying to do this. They will be the ones who are gratefully remembered by future generations of Americans.

 

Jim Turner, Fairfield

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