Commentary: For a moment, let’s stop obsessing about the polarizing news story of the day and widen our focus a bit with something to ponder. When did America stop dreaming big? What happened to our grand and great ideas and national goals? When did we give up our ability to dream large?
What is our majestic hope or project for tomorrow? What about for ourselves personally? Is it getting that latest and flashiest smartphone? Is it waiting for our internet speed to get faster so we can spend even more time on our devices?
There were times when we had big dreams. Our nation began with a huge one. Our Founding Fathers dreamed up a new kind of government where we the people were intended to have fundamental importance. Later came grand projects like building the canal systems and railroads which tied our vast nation together and brought people, resources and goods to lands previously untamed and inaccessible. Then came the time when we accomplished the impossible and put men on the moon. And yes, we even made the internet.
Today, some look to medical advances which may indeed benefit many. But, what are the other big dreams? Has everything already been done? Do we even care to aspire to great things and make them happen? Are we so happy picking disagreements with each other or finding ways to become offended over things that this occupies all of our energy? As a beginning, maybe we can start treating each other with respect again. That would be a good place to start. Maybe we can revisit our formerly great rail system and bring it into the future and build a passenger rail system as good or better than the ones already being enjoyed in Japan, Europe, and China. Maybe we must first rediscover ourselves in yesterday’s dreams. Then we’ll remember what we’re capable of. The next grand and great ideas are out there if we could just take our eyes off our smartphones for a moment and see them sitting right there next to us.