President Obama and his speech to the UN revealed strength, leadership and understanding of the global issues of our times. Reza Aslan, Professor of Religion, has stated correctly that the global concern today is a question of good versus evil. The speech incorporated ideas from many thoughtful areas.
In many ways the president’s UN speech echoed the phrase of FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” A recent biography of John Quincy Adams claims he decried Puritanism because it promoted fear. We know how fear tends to dominate. Our chaotic world today is driven by this same kind of Puritanical fear.
Historical comparisons are not always useful in pointing the direction of the future especially when our current president is compared to every other past president regardless of the change in the ethos of the nation. The world has changed; technology and communication drives our global community to express itself in ways unimagined by past generations.
The human condition may not have changed, but mores and manners have. Few seem to be able to believe in hope, in the present or for tomorrow, but there is a future we can trust and believe in but it requires giving up the word “never” or the phrase “it will always be this way.”
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Constant change is the hope for a better future. It means looking for and observing the incremental changes already taking place and that have taken place. The struggle continues.
Martha J. Pierce