Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh Pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Today is the day we Utahns celebrate the Mormon Pioneers' arrival and settlement of the Salt Lake Valley. I am proud to be a sixth generation Utahn.

Still, all is not well in the Beehive State as the fireworks explode in the night's sky. The drought has brought wildfires and arsonists to torch our lands. Our elected officials love to waste taxpayer money on message bills and political lawsuits rather than the betterment of the people they were elected to serve.

The spirit of our ancestors--the ones that pulled together to survive a plague of crickets, extermination orders, and a trek across the Great Plains--is being undermined by efforts to exclude those whose views differ from the favored ideology. To make those who are different "other," despite the fact that this same kind of other-ing is what lead to the suffering of our ancestors.

There may be no more land on Earth to "discover" and settle. But we can make strives to pioneer into new fields of knowledge, into new levels of understanding and empathy, and out to the furthest reaches of space--the final frontier.

Oh Pioneers! Strive to shatter the barriers between peoples. Never give up or give in. Yearn for demand, and expect greater from those in public office. Push those holding the levers of power to do something to prevent the world from further spiraling out of control thanks to their inept handling of this interconnected planet--or let someone else have a try. This Pioneer Day, let us seek out our own frontiers and to challenge ourselves to reach higher and farther than we ever dreamed possible. Carpe Diem.