Read Connor’s Letter


Dear Connor,

WOW! If we had a rulebook, you would have just violated Section 101 by introducing two massive topics in one single exchange. Which do I respond to first, the juicy Russian Probe or the age-old-but-always-relevant question of change?

Okay — it’s change. Is change good or bad? Perhaps the answer isn’t an easy one. Perhaps it is a variable, and the answer really rests where and when you happen to be observing it. The perspective of change changes, but I can speak only from my seat. Connor, you and I are about the same age, and basically, the change throughout most of our lives, along with our parents’ and grandparents’, has been good: Industrial change, technological change, as well as changes in ethical and moral standards. One might even say it’s been exceptional.

This is especially true for those who endured WWII, either directly or indirectly. I recently came to this realization as I wrote the eulogy for a beloved 86-year-old family member. On the surface, her life was less than dynamic, nevertheless, as I spent time caring for her in what became her last days, I learned, although different from mine, her was compelling. From her observatory, she saw everything, and it was powerful.

Despite being robbed by WWII of loved ones, a beloved family farm, and security, she was rich with memories and hope. She left this world with fear, yet, at the same time, a hope for society. In her lifetime she saw many recoveries from disasters and failures. As part of The Greatest Generation, she witnessed and, in a small way, even contributed to a wonderful era of advancement, woodstoves to microwaves. Getting to know her better, I came to believe that The Greatest Generation might very well be the luckiest.Watching the change energized them, and they worked hard.
Of course, cycles and change are, by design, built into the Greater Plan, and eventually this Greatest Generation gave birth to an array of New Age thinkers: flower children, hippies, and the pesky beatniks. Not quite a member, but old enough to be the keeper of a front-row seat, I believe that, all in all, their efforts brought positive change.

In keeping with progress, the flower children blessed us with the fabulous geeks, who provided us with the dawn of the technology boom. This group is so motivated they alone took technology from birth to adulthood in a microsecond. Whew!

I know by now you’re wondering where I’m going with all this. But, worry not, my friend — I’m almost there.

All of this leads us to today. So, how do we describe the children of the technology geniuses? It is difficult; the world is drowning in a societal dichotomy, and nothing rests within the middle. People live within the polar opposites of one another — not next door, at a slightly different perspective, but at a place far, far away. From meat to meatless; cooked to nothing but raw; violence to safe emotional spaces; and of course, God to no God — the list goes on and on. All of this even I can accept, but there is one issue that is the most dangerous of dangers. Our freedom of speech is on the chopping block.

Words are always the most effective teacher and negotiator. As violence erupts daily in the US from those who wish to curtail free speech, I worry. I worry more as I see politicians and intellectuals seemingly advocate this dark practice.

Connor, the threat is growing. I believe the essential ingredient in this darkening shadow is censorship — and it impacts everything.



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