As we celebrate man’s landing on the moon 50 years ago, I am reminded of a conversation I had with a group of people in Paterson, N.J. (this was in the 1980’s). I was with a group from the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) and something was said that provoked another to question the changes taking place in America, “You think we’re more civilized now?’ The reply, “No, we are not more civilized now, just more technologically advanced.”

Would that we celebrate true accomplishments that improve the community of living creatures on earth, but that is apparently beyond our ability. May we recognize and work for what is truly important, no matter how hard, rather than work mainly for the sensational. I don’t mean to demean the intellectual accomplishment of the moon landing but we can aspire to accomplishing great things here on earth.

It appears it is easier to go to the moon than to feed the hungry, provide health care to all, shelter the homeless, live in harmony with others, etc. We are even running out of water clean enough to drink. We have areas where the air is not clean enough to breathe and I don’t even want to think what is in our soil and consequently in our food.

Our scientific accomplishments are vastly out-distancing our accomplishments in constructive social change. We should do better in balancing these two worthy goals.

Joyce A. Polyniak


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