Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fifty Years

What happens to the power of an idea as fifty years pass by? How does it change?

As time mixes into it, does it become blurry, diffuse?

As the distance between now and then lengthens, does sentiment and emotion add a pretty border and a rosy tint?

You know how, when you have a vivid dream at night, then you wake up in the morning and it almost immediately starts to fade?

The only way to hold on is to tell someone about it. To share it. In the re-telling, the mixture becomes more concentrated, the picture becomes clear, the details sharpen.

An idea changes over time, but we get to decide how it changes. We have power to determine if the idea will flow and grow and pick up speed, or just drift into a stagnant pond of empty nostalgia.

Anyone can co-opt anyone else’s idea. Anyone can punch and twist and abuse and confuse. But some ideas are tougher than others, surprisingly so. And some ideas have champions who will not allow them to be used so poorly.

I am a champion of the idea that all human beings are worth something. As much as hatred and prejudice and war and poverty and violence have tried to knock it around, that idea has proven to be a whole hell of a lot tougher than anyone ever thought.

You matter. Whatever color or age or sexual identity, whatever country you’re from or language you speak or religion you practice or don’t, whatever the demographic, you are worth something.

Fifty years ago, that idea was proclaimed by a champion with a dream. May we never ever allow it to blur, become clouded, tinted rosy and hung up on the wall to admire.

What happens to an idea over time?

Well I guess that’s up to us, isn't it?

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