So, I read two books today.
Not the best books I’ve ever read, but by no means the worst. And they made me think, which is (I think) all a book really needs to do.
First was The Man Who Used The Universe by Dean by Alan Dean FosterNext was Omega Sol by Scott Mackay
I got these books at the Quarryville Library’s Book Sale. And today I read them. And they seemed to have nothing to do with each other, but somehow today they fit together.
The Man Who Used The Universe asks us to really think about what makes a man good. If we make the world a better place, does it matter if we do it by deceit and treachery and lies?
If we do a good thing, but it makes the world a meaner, more bitter place, is it still a good thing?
And in Omega Sol, it asks us the question, “Are we good?”
One of my neighbors has a bumper sticker, on it is a Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
And that resonates with me. I believe that people are not perfect, but perfectable. That we DO fight entropy and that makes us heroic. And that every day, bit by bit, we get better.
So are we good? Are intentions enough? Or must we get up everyday and strive to do right?
Proabablie not. No. And Yes. And that maybe makes me not so good. I eat meat and drive a car and I think terrible things about people who haven’t reallie done much wrong. I’m not as empathic as I should be. I’m much more self centered than most.
So I geuss I have to hope that Dr. King was right. That there are enough people out there saying YES to cancel out all the Nos. Enough people say, “We can.” and not “Why bother?”. I have to have faith that there are enough people out there, building and making and creating and striving.
I can do that. And maybe those people will give me the courage to do and make and build and strive.
One of my favorite poems The Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
— For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
So let me then be up and doing…