Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Human Spirit and Our Future

Now playing:
  • Led Zeppelin - Bron-Yr-Aur
  • Three Dog Night - One
I've been up since five because of a volunteer thing, but now that I'm home and I'm fighting off sleep, I'm trying to come up with ideas for the speech. This video that John Green made a few days ago has been kind of stuck in my brain for a now. It's about the book Escape from Camp 14, which I will hopefully go out and find later today.

This is the video, which I recommend seeing because John Green always does a pretty good job at introducing thought provoking ideas or discussions with just the right hint of inspiration. I have a couple of problems with some of his earlier novels (first two, basically), but he's a great writer, and it shows in almost everything he does.

Anyways, I guess I like the fact that he acknowledges that the human spirit is fragile and that no one is born with some profound wisdom or moral values regarding the human spirit. And I want to speak about it too.

But how?

I told my parents about my idea yesterday (write the speech and have Anthony read it for me) and they seemed actually really supportive. I'm glad that they see value in my writing and don't need me to be up and showy about it to be proud of me.

With that conversation, my mom told me I really should write about the future because we're graduating. Reminiscing about the past is just a little overdone and either way, nothing can be done about it. It's done.

So I'll keep the focus on the future. And I want to reference the fragility of the human spirit.

But what what what can ever be said? "We're fragile. We'll make mistakes...BUT PUSH THROUGH BECAUSE SUCCESS IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION."

(I'm sorry I keep going back to that. It's just the phrase that pretty much encompass everything wrong with uplifting speeches).

This feels like I'm writing a How To Guide on the skill of being pretentious. I know ten years from now--or wait, no, like, two years from now--I'm going to read back on this and cringe. I'm sorry Future-Becky, but I want to try. I don't know why.

Maybe I'm really shallow like that.

Alternative: giving advice is silly. Instead, I ask them for a favor.

(That sounds even sillier--I'll forgive myself for this eighty years from now)

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.