The Dream

August 5, 2013

A friend just shared with me Anne Serling’s book, As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling. This was a piece I wanted to share, from a commencement address he gave in 1970:

“…It’s simply a national acknowledgement that in any kind of priority, the needs of human beings must come first. Poverty is here and now. Hunger is here and now. Racial tension is here and now. Pollution is here and now. These are the things that scream for a response. And if we don’t listen to that scream–and if we don’t respond to it–we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us–or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.”

Before reading this, I finished George Packer’s The Unwinding, tracking three “regular” Americans over the last 30 years. Like a modern, non-fiction Steinbeck novel. I think the truck, or the bomb, has hit. But I also hope that, in ingenuity, compassion, creativity, kindness, Americans have enough insurance to start over.