My wife and I sat down last night and watched a show that we wanted to see at the theater, but it came and went before we could catch it: Source Code. It reminded us of more than a few Star Trek episodes with alternate universes (but set in near contemporary times) and we enjoyed it. I think the reason why these stories repeat in scifi/fantasy literature is because it piques our interest regarding what might have been. We see people making different decisions and the ramifications of those decisions in the stories and we reflect back on our own decisions and wonder what might have been if we chose differently at key moments.
Our challenge is that moving between alternate universes is fiction and our path is determined by the decisions we make. The blessing is that we have many decisions still before us and we can change the future. All we need do is project forward what life will be like if we stay on our current course and change what we are doing to modify it for a better future. That is out of the realm of fantasy and very much back in our reality.
This all takes me to a topic which may seem silly but I find serious. The House of Representatives is currently debating whether to mandate using energy efficient light bulbs. The bulbs use less energy and save consumers a great deal on their electric bills. The only detraction is some folks don’t like the way the new bulbs look. But balancing the look of a light bulb with burning off money in this economy and our our truly limited source of energy seems like an easy choice right? Wrong. There are folks actively trying to kill the bill because they want the ‘freedom’ to choose the inefficient bulbs. They decry it as “Big Brother” so involved in their lives that it is now down to their choice of a light bulb. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that their personal choice involves not only their own budget but will influence the lives of their children. Life is devolved to “what about me?”
If we are going to make a better tomorrow, we are going to have to stand up today and tell people that while we value their personal freedom, we do not do so at the expense of the future. We have to start making decisions that are best for our nation, our children, and our children’s children today. Guaranteeing individuals maximum personal freedom is not what life is all about. It isn’t even what the American Revolution was all about 235 years ago.
Light bulbs may be a small thing but if you think of the number of bulbs the Federal Government burns every year, this is no small thing. I hope you will write your representative and let them know you favor mandating bulbs that are good for us, and good for tomorrow.
Until next time,