There Really IS Hope for the Future

Here’s part of a talk given by Adam Treager, speaking for his classmates in the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology, Class of 2010:

I always used to hope that all of this work would eventually pay off so I could just relax, take a deep breath and enjoy myself. Hah! It took me awhile to understand that I wouldn’t actually be happy sitting on some tropical island where all of my food was provided for me and I had an unlimited supply of pina coladas. Sure, the first week would be great. I’d enjoy the weather, lie on the beach and be content for a time. Then, perhaps I’d start taking hikes around the island to explore- or swim to a sandbar to check out the view. But before you know it I’m halving bamboo shoots to make a more efficient water collection system, building pulleys to access the site of a particularly favorable diving spot and creating a makeshift catamaran with an innovative hydrofoil design.

You can see it, can’t you?

The point is, productive achievement is in our veins. In fact, it is the very thing that makes us human. The tropical island where everything is provided for you is not only an extremely unnatural place for a human to reside but also a physical impossibility. Food and supplies do not simply fall from the sky in the same way that bridges do not simply spring across rivers and chasms because they are needed. It is by our minds that such things are conceived and brought to life.

The real island is a deserted one, a patch of land with the potential to sustain life but without the inherent ability to do so. Many creatures could not live in such an environment, but man can, by calling on his intellect, his creativity, his ambition and his nature of productive achievement to bring the possibility of human life to an otherwise lifeless place.

It doesn’t take too many Adam Treagers to make a difference for the future of our civilization. If you know Adam or someone like him, make sure he knows that his outlook on life is not only appreciated, but revered.

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