Letter to The Free Press, 11/24/20
In these days of contentious politics, it’s crucial for each of us to contemplate the bigger picture, that what we share in common dwarfs our differences. Take, for example, the fact that human beings are the only species on Earth with the intellectual capacity to appreciate that we are fortunate voyagers on a breathtakingly beautiful and fragile planet that orbits a long-lived star at 67,000 m.p.h., a star that is the very source of our existence.
It’s taken inconceivable happenstance to bring us to a place in time and space that allows us to benefit from and appreciate such common occurrences as sunrises and sunsets, blue skies, seas and land masses populated by myraid species, and lives blessed with the love of family and friends.
When our focus centers on differences, we lose sight of what’s really important: that the very fact that we are able to share this awesome stellar voyage on a gem of a planet defines fortuity, and that gratitude for our shared experiences should be more than sufficient to relegate hate and bitterness to the trash heap of history. Even slight deviations in our planet’s orbit, its magnetic field, axial tilt, rotation and location in an incomprehensively vast universe, among countless other variables, and life would never have taken root on Earth. Instead, by good fortune, we find ourselves beneficiaries of incredible abundance on a planet seeded with the elements necessary for a stunning diversity of life.
As a singular species that travels the solar system at more than a half-billion miles per year, it’s reasonable to suggest that we should embrace our commonality instead of falling prey to the petty divisiveness that diminishes what is otherwise a truly wondrous shared experience. We should be honored and grateful to share this extraordinary journey with each other, no matter our differences. We are all in this together.
Dennis Dechaine, Maine State Prison