“We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”
As William Shakespeare once taught us, there is nothing good or evil in this world; thinking simply makes it so. That may or may not be completely true, but we do have to realize that the exact same object, the identical phenomenon can be perceived in an infinite number of ways.
One person might see the glass as half-empty and the other might see the same glass as half-full. And then, there is the scientist who will come and tell you that the glass is always completely full: it is half-full of liquid and half-full of air. Or the philosopher who may question whether or not the glass is really there in the first place.
With the above quote from Canadian environmental activist David Suzuki (you probably know him best from The Nature of Things), we are reminded of a different perspective. People can debate on all sorts of issues and problems, but they should always take a moment to step back and consider the big picture. I can’t say for certain, but I imagine he’s talking about global climate change. We continue to bicker about details that ultimately don’t matter much, rather than focusing on the issues that really do make a difference.
Again, you may or may not agree with Dr. Suzuki or Al Gore when it comes to their views on the environment, but that’s okay. It means that we can continue the conversation. It means we can continue the debate and work toward a meaningful consensus. That’s how science works and that’s how we can move society ahead.
Just make sure we’re talking about the trajectory of the car and not about who gets to pick the radio station.