Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An unspoken vision for the future

Update: December 10 - (updated title) Due to some communication issues, we were not on the program and therefore did not have an opportunity to deliver our reading tonight. Maybe next time. My recap of the service is here...

Original post:

I will be delivering a reading tomorrow night (Thursday, December 10) on behalf of the Hickory Humanist Alliance at the first public interfaith service held by the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council to celebrate Human Rights Day. The service, which starts at 7 pm, is at Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory.

As I reflected on what to read, or say, I was reminded of how far we have come and how far we still need to go on human rights. My thoughts, as usual, went to a certain French Algerian...
"Yes, we must raise our voices. Up to this point, I have refrained from appealing to emotion. We are being torn apart by a logic of history which we have elaborated in every detail--a net which threatens to strangle us. It is not emotion which can cut through the web of a logic which has gone to irrational lengths, but only reason which can meet logic on its own ground. But I should not want to leave the impression... that any program for the future can get along without our powers of love and indignation." 
- Albert Camus
But after some searching and reflecting I finally found and selected something lighter which I believe still reflects both the sense of existential angst about our present situation and a positive aspiration for the future that I think is characteristic of humanism. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you can join us tomorrow night in Hickory.

A Vision for the Future

Sometimes I struggle just to cope;
I feel like all I have is hope
And all my dreams and all my fears
To get me through the passing years.
I wish that life would just make sense,
That situations weren’t so tense,
That optimism might prevail
Once less constructive methods fail.
That people might cooperate
And not leave everything to fate,
But work to meet a set of goals
That challenge hearts and minds and souls.
I wish my nation would resolve
What’s necessary to evolve
That leaders wouldn’t feed our fear,
But lead us to a new frontier.
That health and wealth were commonplace
With no divisions based on race
Or age or sex or place of birth,
But better ways for judging worth.
I wish our nation would unite
In standing up for what is right,
Protect the future and respect
The other cultures we affect.
To realize we aren’t alone
And can’t decide things on our own,
And while we’re at it, we should face
Our duties to the human race.
—Sheryl Zettner

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