“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
The arc of history is irrelevant to most of us. Ok. Maybe better said is that we are relatively indifferent to the arc of history.
Most of us get up, drink our coffee and get going doing what we need to do that day. In doing so we cannot see any fucking arc, we just see what is in front of us. The arc can only vaguely be seen when we look at the news or talk with friends or maybe see some high falutin’ presentation on trends that supposedly impact our business in terms of sales and shit like that.
And we wonder why the world can seem so cold sometimes? Geez. That is our view for the most part. It is our daily grind (responsibilities) interspersed with some outside news filtering in for some perspective.
I would suggest any arc seems like it can almost be a straight line rather than any arc we can see. It can sometimes seem like a straight line of no change, or, a lot of bad shit with small drops of good shit mixed in.
But that’s not reality. The reality is that time and … well … our lives … do arc.
Just like when you are a ship in a harbor thinking about leaving the horizon looks flat and finite. And, yet, once you leave the harbor you realize that the horizon was simply a reflection of where you were and where you stood and that the reality was the world, the universe, arcs and bends to things you could not see from where you once stood.
Yeah. Sometimes that is hard to see.
Yeah. Sometimes we don’t have any time to think about it.
Yeah. But we should … at least on occasion. Because the arc occurs whether we see it or not. You have to be able to figure out how to get done whatever has to be done or the arc will show you what has to be done <or at least the context within which you will make your choices of what you will do>.
Look. I buy the fact that the arc of time bends toward justice. But I think it neglects to point out that people inevitably define the arc. It neglects to point out justice, or ‘good’, is not simply part of the ether, but resides in the hearts & minds of people. Well. What that means is the arc resides within us. All of us. Not just someone standing up in front of us trying to tell us what the arc is or should be.
I sometimes think we mistaken society, a country or a civilization is like a big tanker and we hire someone or elect some to jump onto the bridge of the ship and lead it out of the harbor. That is not so. You would be mistaken to think that. Each one of us is a little ship. We are a fleet of a variety of ships, boats and scows restlessly bobbing in the harbor from which we can actually leave or stay as we wish.
When we hire a leader, or elect someone, we – we little fleet of ships – are actually seeking a flagship. Someone who dares to leave the harbor and lead us over the arc of the horizon. Lead us beyond the current routes we take, lead us beyond the fishing grounds we have always used and lead us to new lands that maybe we had only heard of before.
But. We, we little fleet of ships, also control the voyages because within the hearts & minds of each of the captains resides justice and what is good & right and decide to follow, float or seek freedom.
Therefore we control the arc and bend of justice. No leader does.
I will suggest, consciously or subconsciousnessly, people tend to follow, or guide, based on justice therefore the arc will bend — sometimes too slowly — toward the goodness which resides in humankind. Just like a ship in harbor looking out from a harbor that goodness can sometimes be difficult to see when looking at the horizon but, I can guarantee this, if you leave the harbor it is easier to see.