Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

despair and hope

I am sitting here, feeling completely down. Work is boring, and it is humiliating to have nothing useful to do. I am on staff for scout leader training this weekend, but it is clear that I am not part of the “core” team, and though my contributions are valued, I’m really not part of the main group. Personally I feel useless and unneeded. I continue to worry about my mother, as well as my brother’s family in Florida as they struggle to deal with my disturbed sister in law. In addition, I am never out of the cloud of despair over what is the state of my country. While we have the potential to be the greatest good on earth, we wallow in the paranoia and insecurities of an incompetent administration.

As I sit here, I am watching the end of a movie I have seen perhaps a dozen times, Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks. With it, I am forced to acknowledge not only the inner strength that we as Americans have to get us through troubles, but also the inner strength we as a country have, and the miracles that our grasp of technology can work.

While I am never not moved to tears by this film, for some reason this time it is almost uplifiting. In spite of my despairs, I am reminded that we have resources within us for ultimate good and success, and our technological superiority is an integral part of our resources, not a detraction from them. I’m sure no one who did not live through the Apollo 13 experience can understand the immediacy it has for me, and people of my age.

There is hope. NASA needs our support, for no other reason than to give a solid form to that hope.

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