To recap, here is my top 10 list of emergent, essential to existential things I care about, and hope in some small way — through 350-plus Humble Sky essays published every Tuesday morning for the past six years — to have influenced perspectives or at least elevated the discourse.
Thank you to everyone who has been paying attention. Stay curious. Be humbled by something every day. (And VOTE! It is a right and, moreover, a privilege.)
FARTHEST OUTER SPACE — The idea of an infinite universe is bizarre and incomprehensible, right? This imponderable is a perfect metaphor for encouraging curiosity and humility, two incredibly valuable but grossly underrated values.
CLIMATE CHANGE — We are destroying the planet’s environment, leaving future generations to attempt to replace our greed and stupidity with green energy and brainpower. Fortunately, the brilliant and brave 17-year-old Greta Thunberg is leading the survival effort, which is warning and warring against the use of polluting fossil fuels and specifically against deniers and abusers who place immediate gratification over sustainable solutions.
LONGEVITY — Humankind’s extended life expectancy is an incredible achievement. To take full advantage, we need to ensure growing older remains purposeful by improving physical and mental health, social connections and support services. Inclusivity, such as intergenerational living, working and activities that promote generativity (generations supporting one another) reinforce to people of all ages that aging is about us, not them.
GLOBALISM — Americans are not inherently exceptional. We are simply lucky enough to be born in a good place — compared to most other countries. Living in a less prosperous or poor country does not make people less deserving, just not as fortunate. The best way for Americans to become more understanding, open-minded and grateful is to cross borders and boundaries, see other countries and cultures, and meet other peoples in person. Travel abroad is about education and experience and should be mandatory (particularly for all nationalists and isolationists.)
ARROGANCE AND IGNORANCE — Stupid is as stupid does. And you are what you do. The Dunning-Kruger effect brands individuals who are too conceited and arrogant to appreciate just how selfish and ignorant they are. (Sound familiar?) These miscreants need to challenged not enabled.
CURIOSITY — Simple as it sounds, ask questions. And listen. This is how we learn. Rather than always blathering and hearing only what is agreeable, try gaining new insights and acquiring new knowledge — based on facts and truth.
BIG TECH — Tech giants had the opportunity to contribute mightily to solving the pandemic. Instead they postured and stalled and produced self-serving TV commercials. In the meantime, these international monopolies continue to steal our privacy, make us lazier, waste our time, and increase property values and decrease equity and equality everywhere they set up shop. Stop feeding these insatiable behemoths.
GUN CONTROL — Civilians should not possess guns. This position only seems extreme because of the existence of the anachronistic Second Amendment, which provides cover for fanatics, lawless individuals and militias. This is the 21st Century, not the wild west. (#RepealtheSecondAmendment.)
BULLYING — Research shows that young bullies, who’s bad behavior goes unchecked, are more likely to be aggressive and abusive as adults. Victims of bullies are traumatized as youth, sometimes for life. Bullying in any form is abnormal, anti-social and cyclical, and its prevention needs to be taken seriously.
THE GOLDEN RULE — And above all else, the simplest thing we can all try to do is follow The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Period. Full stop.