Never mistake a clear view for a short distance
I recently came across a great quote that feels so relevant today- Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.
It applies to so many things. I think the va…st majority of us KNOW that love, tolerance, compassion, and equality are our destination. Our view is clear and YET, sometimes, we might wonder, when the smoke or haze of some heart-rending injustice or horrific attack obscures that view, whether we are really looking in the right direction.
Rest assured, it is the right direction, for going down a path of hatred and intolerance is a short, dark road to a bad, bad place. We only need to look back in human history to see where roads like that lead.
The road we must travel is longer than we like. Humans are also terribly impatient- our individual life spans are short. I know we all think of the world we are leaving for future generations and want to have it all sorted out by the time they reach adulthood, and that feels so frustratingly far away. But if you take a moment to turn around and look back down the road of history, it will give comfort, even in times like these, because humanity truly has come so far. We have a lot to be collectively proud of and grateful to our forebears for.
So, take heart, friends. The view IS clear. We must maintain an unwavering gaze on a community, indeed, a planet, that is committed to tolerance, justice, and opportunity for all. Human beings are complicated animals- we can be selfless and caring, we can be cruel and destructive, but we also have the ability to CHOOSE. When we just goodness, we take a step in the right direction. And when we take those steps as a group, we bound down the road. And if we can all take those steps together, we will soar.
Never mistake a clear view for a short distance. Keep travelling friends, we are in this together. Love.
ps- I came across this wonderful quote in the book Machines of Loving Grace, by John Markoff. Markoff was quoting Paul Saffo, an engineer and technologist. The book is about the future of AI. It’s a great book looking far (perhaps not that far!) into a future where humans and AI work very closely together for the common good.