This species could have been so great, and now everybody just wants a new Salad Shooter or sneakers with lights in them. This is what we’ve settled for. – George Carlin
George Carlin (1937-2008) was an American comedian, usually ranked on most credible short lists of the trade’s funniest and most influential comics. Among his favorite topics were politics, religion and the English language and Carlin tended to march to his own drummer. He was a misfit in a structured society having been thrown out of both high school and the United States Air Force. Of course, Carlin was a very funny man but like all great comedians, he had a point to make once you sorted through the jokes. He had heart problems throughout his life and ultimately died of heart failure at age 71.
This species could have been so great…
Among Carlin’s favorite points was that us humans are not really getting as much out of our time on this planet as we could, both collectively and individually. He’s right, too. There is simply to much war and too much carnage and too much unnecessary misery for anyone to think that we are maximizing our time and our resources. We are not. By any measure, we are squandering them.
This is what we’ve settled for…
We are constantly battling ourselves, both collectively and individually. Settling is easy. Anyone can do it and millions do it every day and when enough individuals settle a society has settled, too. It is seldom a conscious decision though. Few people sit down and say “screw it”. Rather, it’s a series actions or inactions that dictate this.
Individually, we have something our heart compels us to do but one day the car needs repairing or we have a dentist’s appointment and it is put off until tomorrow and then friends and family are demanding our time and it is put off again and before you know it tomorrow has never come. Collectively, a society that fails to hold leaders accountable may well find themselves overwhelmed by perpetual war and fiscal insanity. Ultimately, dreams are not chased and paths are not followed.
The good news is if we are looking back at time squandered we can easily remedy this. All it takes is the wisdom to look inside ourselves because our hearts will tell us where to go. Then all we need is the courage to go there and the patience to see it through to the very end. The car will still need to be repaired and friends and family attended to, but once we’ve committed to our path, they will merely distract us, not overwhelm us.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Gaylon began stockpiling quotes in 1988.