The Oberlin Review

Hope Paramount in Face of Danger

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To the Editors:

We on earth have our problems. The first is that in a second, comets, asteroids, or an all-out unleashing of the world’s nuclear stockpiles could wipe us all out. More slowly, it could be the effects of global warming. If none of these occurs to eliminate all life, then surely the best scientific evidence is that in a few billion years our sun will shine no more, forever extinguishing all of us humans and all other life.

The first thought of this bleak picture is that we are doomed, left solely with our seeking to get as much pleasure as we possibly can out of our brief stay on this Earth — still brief even if it’s 90-plus years — without regard to whom or what we destroy. Thus, “Make America Great Again” offers far less than “Make America Greater Than Ever.” The latter offers hope to people anywhere on this Earth and underscores that that there is so much good in all humans.

“Make America Greater Than Ever” reminds us of a God who inspired all the brilliant scientists of the past to unlock the mysteries during their times that once seemed so unfathomable — for example, jumbo planes flying around the world, DNA, the subatomic world, telescopes peering into galaxies revealing stars, perhaps one of which might replace our sun, and more.

We today need only understand and appreciate that all we are asked to do for future generations is similar to that which we inherited — an undying quest for the betterment of all, using maximally what God gave us — minds. Of course, history is replete with evil and inhumanity, which served both as roadblocks to progress and as incentives for us to work harder and smarter.

And that is what we Americans are called upon to do in our lifetimes. “Make America Better Than Ever” by striving to eradicate poverty and all forms of injustice and discrimination at home and understanding that we can never achieve a fullness and lasting greatness unless and until human beings everywhere in the world enjoy some measure of the liberty, prosperity, and peace that we seek for ourselves.

Our humanity can never be whole if it is always restricted just to ourselves. It must be one that recognizes that we are all seriously at risk of extermination. Survival cannot be guaranteed, but it is far more likely to be attained if we work for and embrace “A World Humanity” — one uniting and enriching us with the gifts of love, joy, and inventiveness that all God’s people have. Celebrate this day.

Booker C. Peek
Emeritus Associate Professor of Africana Studies

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