So when I was a teenager I went to a retreat. Something akin to Marriage Encounter for youngsters (and no I wasn't married but my parents were and still are). Realistically it was a weekend for parents to relish sans children. My parents were nudists. And scientists. Seriously. Who knew what happened when we kids weren't around. Either a lot of sex or some earnest fun analyzing punch cards.
The retreat was all woo woo and a bunch of cr*p and stuff I simply didn't buy into (like gag me with a spoon). Then came the last day. The day when our parents came to pick us up. The day when we had to stand in front of an audience and talk about what our parents, our lives, meant to us. The day I bawled and blubbered in front of 100+ people. The day I realized -- yes -- I have feelings. These people in my life have meaning (despite their penchant for boobies and the pascal computer language). And, for lack of a better term, I was (and am) a sap.
Fast forward, I don't know, twenty-plus years. I am still a sap. I believe in human possibility. I believe in optimism. I believe in you and me and this world as a whole. And, yes, I believe in boobies -- after all they've nourished my three children.
I also believe we can band together. I believe it will work out for the best. I believe all my life experiences have meaning and importance (even that two week stent wrapping candles despite my four-year-degree). Simply put I believe.
Am I a sap? Oh yeah. Am I human? You betcha. Do I believe? Yes. Emphatically yes. I believe in you and me and this place and this time. I believe in little girls in tutus on skateboards. I believe in middle-aged women taking hip hop. I believe in brawny men with a penchant for vintage clothing. I believe in the kinetic energy of the teenager.
I believe all of our faults combined do not equal the goodness that swells just below the surface. I believe we, this world, can do this.
And that, tonight, is what I have to say.