Story 12 - Shopping for Glass
"Should I ever die," I said to Ushi quietly, in order that Ross wouldn't
"Heavens forbid!" Ushi interrupted.
I corrected myself, voicing the cliche again, and added that I would ask not to be shut up in any fancy old heaven, but would ask to have the privilege of coming back to earth again.
"This one had been worn out years ago!" Ross interrupted
anyway, and grinned.
"You'd better be careful," Sylvia intervened. "Unless we succeed with our mission you may
be asking to return to a planet that's nothing more than a burnt out rock."
Ushi cringed when she heard this.
"May it never come to that," said Ross.
"May the cliche never die," I added.
"I sincerely hope so," said Steve and raised his glass of wine for a toast.
I remembered that Steve never did this without a good reason. In fact, no one cheered as we drank in honor of our heaven on earth. I don't know for what reason no one cheered. I, personally, felt a deeply seated uncomfortable feeling in my gut that echoed Sylvia's words, knowing as we all did, that we carried the responsibility for this grand future ourselves. Our actions, especially those during the next few days, could tip the balance. If we failed, we could indeed set the stage for actions that could transform our treasured world into a desolate hell.
That potential had become frighteningly real. But our potential to prevent
that was real, too.
"Isn't that what this is all about; why we are here?" I replied to Steve. "We are not fighting a war. We are fighting to prevent it. We are fighting for the peace that must be
maintained, in which love can unfold and be our light. We are not just fighting
against something, so that war doesn't break out. We all know that we do not have a chance to save ourselves once the firestorm begins that no one can stop or can
survive. We are fighting to uplift the human environment around the world, to
create a new world in which these tragic possibilities cannot happen."
"This means that we are here to fight for our life," said Ushi.
"We are fighting for our world, our civilization, and our love," said Heather.
"Everything that we are doing here, as dull and as ugly as the details may appear to be in the heat of the battle, must always be brought into context with that," Ross agreed. "We must always remain conscious of the fact that we are fighting for our
life and for our privilege to love. If we loose sight of this dual context, we won't do the right thing.
Then our efforts won't be dedicated enough, and we will fail. If we are fighting for all the good and the beautiful in the world, and in ourselves, which
includes our life and our love, then we are fighting for the things that have touched us in a beautiful way and have elevated
us. Without the dimension of love, what is our life worth?"
"If that isn't something worth fighting for," Steve agreed, "what is?"
"We are fighting for our humanity more than for our personal life," I interrupted. "We must understand this, because this is the truth. That's what it means to be human. A soldier in battle understands
this, to some degree. If we fail to understand this, absolutely, in terms of what we must accomplish,
indeed, if we were then to return to our treasured earth according to our wishes, we would find it a burnt out hell."
Ross interrupted me and laughed. "Let me
tell you what we would find," he said. "We would find at the portal to this hell a golden inscription: Welcome
everyone to the world of greed based economics, courtesy of Adam Smith."
"But this doesn't have to come to pass," replied Sylvia. "We can defeat Adam Smith before he destroys the whole world. All we have to do, is reestablish
Helen's principle of the universal kiss."