I’ve been thinking about – and experiencing – reunions. Early June, my 55th at Princeton. In mid-July a family reunion in Connecticut. Here at White Horse Village, there’s been recognition of the retirement community’s 30th birthday. And I’ve been wondering, will my high school class have a 60th reunion next year?
As a result of updating my profile on my high school class website, I’ve reconnected with Don, whom I first met when we moved to a new suburb of Detroit in the middle of 5th grade. Don now lives in New Mexico, “off the grid.” It was from him that I first heard of Unitarianism (pre-merger).
I wish he had invited me to church. (I waited more than twenty years for the invitation.)
For me, the most memorable event at the Princeton reunion was not the Thursday evening rainstorm, but the class memorial service, which it was my privilege to lead. In my brief sermon, I expanded on our reunion’s motto, “55 Is Not the Limit,” discussing three threats.
Global warming, climate change. When my mother was old, I remember once when she said – and I’m sure she said it on many different occasions – “I’m glad I won’t be around when . . .” – I don’t remember how that sentence ended, but you can fill in the blank. That could be our attitude about climate change. By the time it becomes a clear and present threat to the survival of human civilization, we won’t be there. Not our problem.
That attitude is morally unacceptable. If we – we, I mean, all of us, all of humanity, all the nations, including, of course, all of us assembled here – if we don’t get serious about this, our descendants are doomed. It’s not too late, but we cannot keep kicking the can down the road.
Another problem, another challenge – the loss of millions of species. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. This loss, if it continues, is a threat to the earth’s ecosystem, and thus to the future of humanity, and we humans are responsible for it. It is up to us to address it.
The third problem, the third threat, relates to democracy. My hope, my prayer is that the principle that no one is above the law will survive, and that next year we can have a free and fair presidential election, and that the voters, as prescribed by law, and not improperly influenced by any
foreign power, will decide the outcome.