The Truth Often Hides in Plain Sight

An alternative view of "Aliens..."

Lysia Knolan Seeker and Waykeeper

In Chapter 1 “The Presence,” the reader immediately senses that Marty’s meeting with Lysia Uupao is important, fateful, even destiny changing. Some unusual is going on, just beneath the surface, but it isn’t necessarily obvious what.

In Chapter 2, “Attáru (Awakening),” the reader learns just how fateful the meeting is. Lysia Uupao, her representations notwithstanding, is not Indonesian, or Polynesian or anything else Marty has ever met. From another world, Lysia is here on Earth (or Kurrithaal as the Knolans call it) for a reason. And it’s not obvious just what that reason might be.

While there are notable exceptions, the majority of tales involving “first contact” between Earth and hypothetical aliens postulate that alien motives will necessarily be hostile, not simply different. Is it possible that we’re wrong about that? As chapter 2 makes clear, the Knolans are not hostile, as nearly as we can tell. That said, chapter 2 doesn’t rule that out, either. What is “the Way,” and how does it relate the Knolan’s motives? For that matter, why are Knolans reproducing (clandestinely, apparently) with Earth humans? And what does it mean to be a “Seed?”

Knolan Motives for Contact

By the time thoughtful readers get to the end of chapter 2, it’s clear that Lysia and her superior, Turnia, are not of this world and that their interest in Marty isn’t an idle, passing interest. In Lysia’s case, it’s also obvious that it’s very personal. But the reader still doesn’t know the motives underpinning their interest or what to expect if Lysia does as Turnia has instructed. Should we be worried about Lysia’s designs on Marty? Should Marty be worried about them? The reader still has no idea.

Even as chapter 3, “The Mission” ends, while it’s obvious that Lysia’s personal interest in Marty goes beyond her professional interest, it still isn’t clear what Knola’s interest in Kurrithaal or its Seed. And the overarching question lurks in the background, to wit: why have not the Knolans made direct contact with “leadership” on Earth? It seems apparent that they haven’t, but why haven’t they? Chapter 3 provides no answer. And what are the “perils” to which Marty’s Awakening expose him? Whatever they are, Lysia, clearly, expects to share those perils.

Are the Knolans vulnerable to someone or something themselves? Who or what? And are their motives for making contact with Earth (Kurrithaal) then mixed by perils they believe we share with them? How might their motives toward Earth be changed if that “peril” whatever it is were not a factor?

And the Larger question?

Our default assumptions notwithstanding and assuming contact with other intelligent life is possible, how different (or similar) might they be? Is it possible that Steven Hawking’s speculations about hostile aliens is correct, or was he speculating out of an abundance of caution and prudent fear? 

The answer to this question will likely remain unknown and unknowable unless and until contact is made. And is it just possible that it depends on which alien race contacts us first? Is it all that improbable, if we postulated that there might be one species of alien interested in Earth, there might be more than one? Or that their interests in us might be at odds?

As Tier Zero unfolds, these and many other practical and philosophical questions will come up. Tier Zero is not simply a tale of First Contact, it is a speculative adventure of life, death, conflict and courage, as well as questions of ethics and courage. You can purchase Tier Zero in paperback or Kindle now.

D.B. Sayers is a retired Marine officer, retired corporate trainer/manager turned full-time author. You can join Dirk’s Tribe and stay up to date on his progress to with Tier Zero’s sequel, Eryinath-5. due out in 2021.

What do veterans think of Donald Trump?

What do veterans think of Donald Trump?

I don’t spend a lot of time knocking around in online forums, but I do spend some time on them, just to see what my fellow citizens are thinking. And I pass on most questions, statistically, either because more than adequate answers have already been posted or because (honestly) I don’t have strong feelings about the question one way or the other. This one, however, begged an answer. 

                      The question was: “What do veterans think of Donald Trump?”

Doesn't that depend on the veteran?

The first thought to cross my mind was, why would anyone think that military veterans are necessarily anywhere even close to unanimous either in their support or distaste for the 45th President of the United States? Fun fact. There are somewhere north of 18 million veterans alive and kicking, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs, which begs a rhetorical question, to wit: in what segment of the U.S. population distributed across all 50 states can you find 18 plus million men and women who agree on anything? Just wondering out loud…

For the same reason it’s misleading to think that all African-Americans, white middle class voters or Latinos living in Southern California think alike, it’s incredibly naive to think that U.S. veterans think alike.

In a recent poll conducted in December of 2019, Mr. Trump’s approval rating had dipped to 42%, with active duty personnel, the lowest since taking office. It would be fair to point out that

Among veterans, Trump enjoys higher approval ratings, with a 57% to 41+% split, favorable to unfavorable.

The inference I draw from the foregoing polls is in line with my own thinking in this matter, to wit, opinion over Mr. Trump (and almost everything else of importance) is that we’re pretty evenly divided, irrespective of the population you consult. I suspect if you subdivided the military population to account for skew relative to geographic origin, education & rank, you would find it dovetails very closely with non-veteran, non-military opinions.

So my short answer to the question is that anyone who thinks they’re speaking for the military (or veterans) writ large is probably smoking something that would get them locked up in Mississippi.

A lot ink has been spilled in the Mainstream Media about Mr. Trump’s deferments during the SE Asia experience. Personally, as a former platoon leader, I’m positively delighted that he sand-bagged his duty to country on that occasion with trumped-up (pun intentional) deferments. I suspect having the Donald in my platoon would have been a lot like having two good people on R&R in Bangkok.

Relying only on my personal observations of the man in public, I can’t imagine him exposing himself to risk for his brothers and sisters in arms. Now for the record, I don’t personally believe everyone must/should serve in the military, or that declining to do so necessarily calls into question one’s patriotism or loyalty. There are (many) other ways to serve and some men and women are just not constitutionally suited for war. I’m certain Mr. Trump was one of those and likely so remains. Given his profound ignorance of even the rudiments of national strategic components, technological evolution and improvements in weaponry, Mr. Trump may be the singularly least qualified human to have a say in setting our national strategy.

There are many forms of service...

That is not function of his lack of military service, by the way. We have had effective presidents who never served. But until Mr. Trump, these men had the self-awareness, humility and good sense to recognize that what they didn’t know and listen to those who did. Personally, as long as they’re willing to listen to thoughtful military thinkers, I’m untroubled by their lack of personal experience. Presidential leadership is (in the end) not about physical courage.

 

It is about moral courage, probity & character. With that in mind, I can’t imagine a thoughtful veteran, mindful of his/her own sacrifices who can find much to admire in Mr. Trump. I struggle to imagine anyone who remembers fallen comrades watching this man’s antics without profound repugnance.

The Essence of Leadership...

The essence of leadership is self-control as anyone who’s ever led knows. It is virtually impossible to control others if you can’t control yourself. From what I have been able to observe, Mr. Trump is a graduate-level study in the absolute antithesis of self-control. He is incurious, under-educated, inarticulate & self-involved. I have seen nothing I can imagine a thoughtful veteran would admire if he/she was paying attention.

 

As stewards of the public trust, we have a right to expect better of our leaders than we are getting from DJT. But that reasonable expectation demands that we as citizens step up to our co-equal responsibility to be paying attention to what our leaders are doing in our name and holding them accountable when they do things that erode the public trust. If we’re paying attention, I can’t imagine that anyone would be in doubt of the need to render Mr. Trump a one-term president.

 

Still, it is precisely that lack of attention that has placed this man in the White House in the first place. A significant number of people (veterans and non-veterans) weren’t and still aren’t paying attention, or if they are, they apparently lack the civic curiosity to exhume the truth. That needs to change. The truth’s out there, hiding plain sight. Surprising things are written and in the public domain, but we have to want to know and take the time to learn. Read & vote! There’s a lot riding on the 2020 elections!

# MAGA is a Mirage

Sorting Through the BS...

Recently, I ran across a post on Medium a forum I frequent that suggested that our 45th president didn’t have much in the way of redeeming value, but that one thing that he does well (and the most probable reason for his election) was  marketing.

The post went on (it was good post and I read it all the way through) to suggest that his ability to reinvent himself through reality TV was his special and most relevant competence. One which permitted him to succeed when any thoughtful reading of his competence and/or character demonstrated he was unqualified and a likely unmitigated disaster.

She got a lot of comments. (Write a Trump post on any forum & you’re sure to get a lot of responses). She got the usual number of “me too” reactions, as well a number of “Trump no matter what” respondents. But what amused most was the died-in-the-wool progressives who insisted 45 is an aberration who succeeded in selling the U.S. a bill of goods.

Nobody asked me, but I think 45 is a logical result of our times. He did not invent reality TV; he was simply perceptive enough to figure out how to leverage it. What thoughtful people already realize is that we are in the midst of tectonic shifts in the paradigms govern pretty much every aspect of our reality. These paradigm shifts cut across how we relate to each other socially, economically, politically & personally. These shifts are magnifying each other in ways that have no precedent in history. For the record, it isn’t like we weren’t warned. The Tofflers saw this coming in the late ‘60s, which is why they wrote Future Shock, which was published in 1970.

The Way ahead...?

Now, fifty years later, are we not in the no man’s land between yesterday and tomorrow, with (if we’re brutally honest with ourselves) no clue what’s next? The old models simply don’t work as well as they used to (or at all) and the new ones are still in the prototype phase. Which is to say, that the way ahead for the world generally (and liberal western democracies in particular, assuming they survive) isn’t particularly clear. One could say, the  way ahead is actually most like wilderness, with no roadsigns.

Our closest analog for today, the Industrial Revolution, was a jolting experience in it’s time, but is dwarfed by the changes we’re confronting now. None of the leaders we have (or who are offering themselves as future leaders) have a full solution, yet. We’re going to need an eclectic approach to solving the problems confronting us. I’m going to humbly offer that the best answer is likely to lie somewhere between the progressive vision of a bulletproof safety net and unrestrained, exploitive, (and extractive) capitalism. Our global role, similarly, probably lies between an outward looking foreign policy in which we are the single, indispensable nation-state, and an introverted, self-involved nation that can’t find Myanmar on the map.

For the same reason, you can't build a fire with yesterday's ashes, the way ahead is not behind us.

What we must not do, IMO, is pretend that the past is the future. It isn’t. 45 hasn’t had an original thought since the Beatles brayed out “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Yes, yes, Beatles lovers, many of their later compositions were nothing short of genius. My point is, #MAGA is a socio-political mirage. Or a bit more metaphorically, the ashes with which you can’t build tomorrow’s fire.

We will need the best of all our minds working toward a just, though imperfect society. Facts, truth & imperfect good ideas must have a place in the crucible of free thought, not to mention a modicum of humility that acknowledges none of us have all the answers. I submit that digging in on either the talking points you can hear on Fox News or MSNBC is probably not going to get it done. We need the best of both. Just one broken-down, baggy-eyed old Marine officer’s opinion.

D.B. Sayers is a retired Marine officer, former corporate trainer turned full-time author. He is the author of four critically reviewed works and has three more in various stages of completion. You can follow Dirk’s work and stay up to date on them by joining Dirk’s Tribe on any page of this site.

A More Perfect Union

In the 2d decade of the 21st Century, it’s difficult to remember a time when bipartisan cooperation at some level was not simply accepted it was expected. There’s a temptation to blame the deterioration of political courtesy on Fox News or Breitbart or MSNBC & CNN. All of those points have merit, but there’s no missing the deeper truth. It doesn’t sell if no one is buying.

There are a host of factors that are at play in the political polarization here in the United States and more broadly, across the world. It’s ironic that this should come at a time when we can least afford it. The posts under this sub-heading are intended to contribute in some small way to the recognition that at our core, we are still one.

The essential kinship of Americans and in the even broader sense, humanity writ large, is something we all recognize most profoundly in moments of crisis. But when we take the time to look beyond our own daily grinds to acknowledge the struggles of others in that same grind, we are (or should be) reminded that we all face those same challenges and ultimately, the same outcome. In the grand scheme of things, while the details of our individual ends are uncertain, the end itself is not.

At our very best, we face each other with love and kindness, and our shared, inevitable end with courage and grace. In these things, the very best of what it is to be human finds its highest expressions.

A Lucid Eye

From the artist's perspective...

An author sees life a little differently. Not necessarily better…just differently. What follows is Dirk’s take on a lot of things in the event you might be interested. In the last analysis, living is an art form and if we do it right, life IS art!

For the engaged, living is a dance. As a long-time surfer, I can assure you, there are days when the sun goes down too soon. At the same time, the transition between day and night is every bit as dramatic and lovely as the transition between our mother ocean and the our mother Earth.

And there are also days when cooler weather and the siren song of skis slicing through the snow is as (or more) appealing. One of the great things about life is it’s your call.

Living in the 21st Century

Somewhere West of Maybe...

Like it or not all of us find ourselves as part of a discourse that simply won’t go away. We are in the midst of what can only be described as tectonic change ushered in by a combination of technological advancement and social change both driven by and facilitating further change. Whether we will survive this period of adolescence remains to be seen. It’s not a foregone conclusion that we will.

The good news is, we get a say in whether and how we survive. And that’s the bad news, as well. We’d all like to believe that the collective consciousness of many is wiser than the conscience of one. One could say the jury’s still out on that one…

Common Ground

In the end, we are one...

On another forum I’ve been known to frequent, someone asked a question that’s been on my mind for a while. Rarely at a loss for an opinion, I weighed in and I’m going to share both the question and my response. Before I get into it, I’m going to offer a disclaimer. 

I don’t labor under the notion that the following answer is the only thoughtful take on this one, but I do think it may be one of the better takes if we’d like to salvage the nation so many of us love.

The question asked, was: “How can we find the common ground in such a polarized political environment?”

I wonder if there’s an argument for starting with desired end-state? What do we mean by “common ground and common ground on whose terms? In the second decade of the 21st Century, what would common ground look like?

Is not a huge part of the problem with polarization today the language we use to describe each other? As long as conservatives characterize liberals or progressives as libtards…or liberals characterize conservatives as casino capitalists or white nationalists, are we likely to find common ground?

I think not, because we’ll never get close enough to each other to find that common ground. It’s that common ground isn’t there. If you’ve done much travelling, as I have, you know it’s there. It’s just that we have a number of organizations driving the political narrative in America whose best interests aren’t served by us seeing each others’ essential humanity.

And we know who these organizations are. An incomplete list follows.

The two major political parties whose life blood is money. Money obtained (for the most part) by donations. So their rhetoric is targeted at keeping those donations flowing from the most politically motivated. Do you need a PhD in political science to puzzle out where that leads? Not in the America I know. They’ll pander to the folks who have and are willing to cough up the greens.

The paid media (mainstream and otherwise) who spend a lot of time, money and effort in figuring out who their viewers are and what trips their emotional triggers. Perceptive readers are already way ahead of me, on this I suspect, but I’ll say it anyway. If we persist in buying what they’re selling, they’ll keep selling it and we’ll never set foot on the emotional common ground to which our questioner refers. Put another way, we’ll never recall when we recognized we were one, irrespective of the differences of opinion that are a natural part of being. At core, America is still America in all it’s lovely breathtaking variety.

America in all it's variety

As long as the purpose of political parties and the media is to sell an agenda rather than arrive at the truth, we’ll allow wit masquerade as wisdom & the policies of this nation writ large will remain the prisoner of motivated cognition. We used to know better. For the same reason biodiversity leads to a more robust, resilient ecosystem a diverse society is much more resilient to the change that is the lei motif of life.

E Pluribus Unum

We don’t have to love each other (though that would be nice) but we do have to live together, and we’ll never get there if we’re inclined to argue from a starting point that demands us to think the worst of each other.

Just one broken-down baggy-eyed retired Marine officer’s opinion.

The Times are a Changin’

Zat Rana is a writer who is a frequent contributor on Medium a forum to which I subscribe. In late September of this year, he posted an article on Medium in his Personal Growth series that I found thought-provoking and at the same time, just the tiniest bit frustrating. I’m going to link to it, in case you want to read all of it, but I’m going to quote the (IMHO) pivotal points and take things a little further.

Campus collage

As Rana suggests in his Medium post:

“Growing up in a generation even as recent as the mid-20th century meant that your sense of self was mostly shaped by a combination of your local cultures, popular media culture, your education, and whatever life experiences you accumulated living in the real world. Today…the internet has not only completely shattered and broken what we think of as popular culture into million little pieces, incapable of making a coherent whole, but it has also equipped us with all of humanity’s knowledge…too much information and too many cultures and too much knowledge only overwhelm, and given how the human mind works, leading us to confusion.”

If you’re like me, at this point you’re thinking “shhh-yeah!” It’s hard to imagine anyone with a modicum of “pay attention” not nodding their heads in agreement. Confusion, along with change seems to be the lei motif of your age. And if you have as much runway behind you as I do, you’re also probably thinking, “But this is not news. It’s not like we didn’t see this coming.”

Future Shock the Book

The Tofflers gave the phenomenon Zat is referring to a name. The called it “future shock,” in their their book of the same name. In essence, Future Shock is the exposure to too much information too fast. If you’re interested in a really thoughtful, way ahead of it’s time look at it, just follow the link. 

 

 

I should note (parenthetically), that the Alvin and Heidi had a specific take on what “too much information” was. To them, it wasn’t simply a lot of new, random information. It was new information that (at first) cracked and (later) broke, existing paradigms.

In the simpler time in which I grew up, I had a built-in break from the bombarding we take from the world. I had my swimming work-outs, chores and homework to do and a couple of hours of leisure in the evening to align (or reject) the information with which I had been bombarded with my (admittedly flawed) sense of self and place.

But in the Internet age, as Mr. Rana points out, breaks have to be engineered into our lives. Compulsive learners in particular need help with this. 

“In the global village created by the internet, on the other hand, the node of your digital self is constantly bombarded by the larger network, which is itself shaped by hidden algorithms, mostly manipulated by those who happen to shout the loudest. For the average person, the amount of consumption far exceeds the amount of time they have to rationally make sense of it. And when they can’t rationally make sense of it, they take shortcuts, which is clearly apparent in the rampant and blind tribalism on most social media networks.”

Mr. Rana goes on to conclude:

“The most effective people learn to close the gap between what makes sense and what is right. What makes sense is what is coherent only if you ignore anything that doesn’t suit your existing narrative. Rightness, on the other hand, is the willingness to embrace temporary incoherence — or a state of confusion and nonsense — long enough that a broader and more honest mental model of the world can be created.”

I’m personally aligned with the drift of his post, as far as he took it. But as someone who spent the first 20-some years of his life in uniform, hypothetically defending these United States, I find myself missing the other half of the equation in Mr. Rana’s post. Cohering our individual model of the world with what’s happening around us is certainly part of personal growth.

But it is only half the job we humans sharing this world with other humans and other species must accomplish. The other half of the job is finding a way to coexist harmoniously with the other inhabitants of our biosphere. We are of and part of, the world in general. Our place in it is as much about contribution as it is about clarity, comfort and fit.

Fire jumping the road in CA
Photo courtesy of ABC News.

Whether we are referring to dovetailing the scientific reality of anthropogenic climate change with the needs of a complex society, simple personal disagreements or the overarching priorities of our governance, our personal growth is (or should be) in part about contribution. It borders on cliché to quote (possibly) JFK’s most famous line from inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask rather what you can do for your country,” quote.

But that line became a cliché for a reason. Embedded in that single line is the fundamental, understanding that however diverse we become, we are nevertheless one body. In time, we must as a biosphere come recognize that truth on a global scale. Our place is not simply in our nation. It is our place in the world writ large.

Long term, there is no other sustainable perspective and we all know this. Recognition of a non-egocentric membership in that global community is perhaps one of the prime indicators of personal growth. This is not a denial of self. It is a declaration of a kinship and the ultimate reflection of the best we can be.

West of Tomorrow and the Meaning of Life

Woman seeking meaning in the desert

To be honest, I don’t remember where I first blundered across this statement, but I remember vividly the oddly conflicted sensation of being @ once energized and enervated by it. Yeah, I know…logically inconsistent. Guilty as charged Welcome to my oft-conflicted world of tail-swallowing paradox. A little explanation may just be in order.

Like a lot of aphorisms, it is evocative. In a sense, it feels self-proving on its face and at some level, empowering. For someone like me, it’s a bit of a charge to think I get a vote with respect to the meaning of life. And if we could track down the original author and wake him/her up to ask them what they intended, my guess is it’s probably meant to be empowering.

At the same time, it’s also a kick in the Gluteus Maximus. Empowerment is meaningless unless it’s actionable and acted upon. So this while this aphorism is a declaration of empowerment, it’s also a call to action. With power comes responsibility, not simply for action, but the consequences thereof.

Photo courtesy of Alexander Hafennanum and Unsplash

The longer I pondered this simple statement, the more it reminded me of an iceberg. There’s so much more going on, beneath the surface. If we are to internalize this statement and render it actionable, then we are called not only to take action to give our lives meaning, but to express that meaning in ways that we find moral in principle and ethical in practice.

But in order to do that, we must know ourselves well enough to know by which moral principles we wish to be bound and how, specifically, we can give meaning to our lives within those constructs. It’s difficult for me to see anyone actually living this aphorism to its fullest logical extent, without a lot of thought put into who we are, how we wish to live, and how we will define success.

Storm front at sunset
Photo courtesy of Yannos Papanostsopolous & Unsplash

In West of Tomorrow, Clay Conover is midway through his life, plus or minus. He has long-term plan that reflects how he defines both success and meaning. But in common with all of us, he’s not pursuing those dreams of success and meaning in a vacuum. And in common most of us, he doesn’t have anything like omniscience.

Sheera Prasad, a newly hired trainer at the contract training firm in which he is the lead trainer looks a lot like part of the vision of success he has in his mind. Sheera appears to be of the same mind. But Clay has spent his first career looking for ambushes and his usually sharp instincts are whispering warnings. Will he listen to them? If not and he’s wrong, will he ever recover?

West of Tomorrow is a tale of corporate intrigue, betrayal, misplaced love and the phoenix that lives in all of us. West of Tomorrow is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

We Own Tomorrow, for Better, for Worse

A Nation (or world) Divided...

Streets on Fire
A riot in France (Courtesy Randy Colas-Unsplash)

Divisiveness, political, racial, religious and cultural has become such a platitude that it is now accepted as the deplorable but inevitable truth of the 21st Century. Driven in part by increasing diversity and where diversity is clustered, (the argument goes), it’s inevitable.

There’s the left and right coasts and there’s “fly over” country. There’s the haves and the have nots. There’s the “liberal” north and the “conservative” south and you can follow those socio-economic fissures by simply looking at the political breakdowns in those same regions and those facts all pretty much speak for themselves.

Dem-Republican Vote Dist.

Moreover, the pundits are quick to tell us, this is not simply a U.S. phenomenon. It’s global and like the experiences we’re currently having here in our country, it’s happening for similar reasons, and for those similar reasons, it’s inevitable “over there,” just as it is “over here.” And those changes are catalysts of still more change.

 

But isn't it up to us?

It would be naive to claim that the contextual reality in which we find ourselves is an illusion. It isn’t. But at the philosophical level, there’s a problem with in my humble opinion. The hard core, self-appointed “realists” may feel obliged to disagree with me and that’s fine. By your very right to differ, if you’re comfortable with a paradigm that postulates conflict as inevitable, you can stop reading now, or if you’re so inclined, or feel free to read, dissent and comment accordingly.

But I wonder if we can agree, that conflict is a choice? Can we not disagree respectfully, without being disagreeable? Surely, somewhere between extremes of meta-ethical relativism and unyielding moral universalism there is a place where we can coexist? Irrespective of your preferred socio-political or economic model, can we not agree that what makes us alike is greater than what divides us? In the words of Rilke, living in another time of tectonic change:

“Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again…”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Change is literally the lei motif of our age. At the personal level, it’s as individual as our fingerprint. More generally, our reaction to the changes around us But we defined in part by the form our change and that inevitable friction that disagreement takes. If you’re riled up and expostulating based on something you read on a website no one’s ever heard of or a FB post without links to the source, you’re probably being pulled to one extreme or the other. Honest men and women, even opinionated ones, aren’t ashamed of the sources upon which they base their opinions. The necessary accomplice of learning is perspective, often perspectives that do not dovetail with our own. That said, the ability of those perspectives to alter our own depend on verifiable, credible information.

We are one...

Man holding a sign I'm here for my 3 year old grand daughter
Its up to us...Courtesy Roya-Ann Miller & Unsplash

But beyond the formation of our opinions—hopefully the result of conscientious pursuit of truth—there is the fundamental truth underpinning all others, if we’re human. We are human and one. For better or worse, we are the dominant specie on this planet, collectively responsible for not only what we do, but for the outcome.

We are the stewards of our fate and the generations following us. I can’t imagine anyone with children not appreciating this and recognizing (if belatedly) that we do not inherit the Earth from our parents. We borrow it from our children.