I am learning that permanence is an illusion. When I began college I did not understand this and I certainly didn’t believe it. When I created an amphitheater, a service club, relationships and projects I imagined them lasting forever. Realistically, however, what I am doing is creating constructs that will last for a finite period of time.

I think I am learning from experience that the only things that last are relationships and ideas. You can share with others through these both, giving love, knowledge and experience. Family, friends, our communities, our regions, our states, our countries and our world will go on after us and to help these things to go on in the best way possible I think we can offer ourselves as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends, neighbors, citizens and volunteers in service to others.

I do not believe our world will last forever, but instead that we have a choice to make about how we want to interact with it while it is here. We can take care of the planet and act responsibly toward our impact on it or we can ignore it and act irresponsibly, narrowly escaping self-destruction or being engulfed in it all together. Likewise we can take care of each other and act respectfully toward each other or we can ignore our possibilities and hate, fight and kill each other until the end.

To believe this world will exist as it is or better regardless of what we do is, in my opinion, irresponsible, ignorant and crazy. We will decide our collective destiny and we can either ignore that or act. Either way, we are making a decision.