Tomorrow Will Echo in Eternity

Tomorrow Will Echo in Eternity

In 1955 the era of the polio epidemic and the Cold War was heating up. Civil rights and entanglement in Vietnam were percolating and the invasion of Cuba was on the horizon.  Malcom X, Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. — known at all in the movement as “Medgar, Malcolm Medgar and Martin” — fought for Black lives and John and Bobby — John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Kennedy —  would be assassinated in less than a decade. 

Fear of mutually assured nuclear destruction was palpable between Russia and the US.  As children we stopped off at the model bomb shelters in the grocery-store parking lot and even started digging our own shelters. General Dwight D. Eisenhower had been elected our Republican president and Democrats switched parties, sharing his worry over the growing influence of the military industrial complex in public policy.

Has there ever been an ideal time to resurrect and make “great” again?

In 1955 our family had a bedtime ritual.  With a sweet, yet stern voice, mom lined us up in a straight row, all five of us, asking we stick out our tongue. After she examined our tongue she felt the brow of each child. Once she saw there were no sore throats or fevers, she then examined appendages for cuts, bruises or scratches. After these were patched up, she asked each of us for individual answers to three questions:

1.      What have you done with the day?
2.      Are you happy with what you have done?
3.      What have you done that you are ashamed of?

By the time we were tucked in we had each undergone a thorough house cleaning.  The slate of the day was washed clean. We were ready for bed and for whatever tomorrow would bring. 

What I learned is that tomorrow is always the best day of the year.  It is always new, a fresh day, a clean day, a day which we could use to do what we would.  We could make it a day in which we ended up scratched and bruised by petty irritations, cut up by self-pity and remorse” Of we could make it a day of new adventure and achievement and of kind smiles and gentle gestures.  

Our choices would determine what shape Mom would find us in the next night – calm, confident and at peace or ashamed and agitated.

I would propose that you and I, as members of the Alameda family, all have this same choice to make as we clean our slates and prepare for the fresh new day tomorrow: Whether our lives shall be organized around the impulses of fear, hate and aggression, or around the principles of cooperation, friendship and love.  How do we apply these principles in the everyday situations we live in? And how did I do?

Such stoic practice can ease the sting of powerlessness along with the generic fear arising in a historic period of epochal change.  We are all afraid that what we have will be taken from us, or what we need will never be provided. 

What we do just for today, determines the trajectory of our personal and collective path.  Each action we take resonates in Alameda’s cosmic tapestry and “echoes throughout eternity.