Monday, January 19, 2009

Two Ends of the Same Stick

While today is the observation of the Martin Luther King National Holiday, January 15, last Thursday, was actually Reverend King's birthday; had he lived, he would have been 80 years old.

An ironic twist is that Reverend King shares his birthday with Edward Teller, the father of he hydrogen bomb. I see these two men as different ends of the "what can we do to help humanity" continuum. Although, Teller's discoveries opened the door to the generation of clean, bountiful, cheap energy, its original use was about as far from Reverend King's work as you can get.

One other point about MLK Day, the historic inauguration tomorrow, and how we differ and are the same. I continue to be amazed and chagrined by friends, aquaintances, talking TV heads, and print media mavens who suffer from what I call "white guilt."
If I had a dollar for every word I have read or heard from a white person apologizing to people of every color for perceived or unperceived transgressions, past or present, I'd be writing this blog from a beach in Hawaii. Or, more likely, I wouldn't be writing it, I'd be living in a McMansion in Governor's Club.
If anything, we--all humans--should be ashamed of ANY way of thinking that limits the potential of humankind. It doesn't matter if the issue du jour is race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, physicality, education (okay, maybe there should be some special way to handle the folks from Duke...but that's it!), ANYTHING that keeps us from using all the available brainpower at our disposable is simply stupid.
As Michael Douglas in his role as the president in the movie, The American President, says, "We have serious problems and we need serious people to solve them." Any time we--individually or collectively--create an environment in which we do not give everyone who is willing to step up the opportunities and tools they need to help solve our problems we should feel "people guilt." Tomorrow is, to quote Neil Armstrong, "a small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind" when it comes to maximizing our greatest resource, ourselves.

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