"Prophets and visionaries, whether true or false, arouse the instinct of hope and leave us wondering about the shape of the future… It is time, again, to search for a way to live joyfully within the limit of our mortality. We have lived as if we could consume endlessly, grow forever, and make unbroken progress. Suddenly we are up against the essential limitedness of life. There isn't time or energy for everything. Nor wealth enough on the planet for everyone to live endlessly like Americans. Maturity is the joyful acceptance of limits. It happens only after we have lost the illusion of inexhaustibility.
"I think there will be no alabaster cities undimmed by human tears. (I'm not certain I would want to live in one anyway.) Visions of Utopia are dangerous because they so easily destroy our ability to be satisfied by the limited reality of the everyday. The struggle for bread, for justice, and for a modicum of beauty will continue so long as there is history. No matter how hard our machines labor, the creation of a loving community will always exercise the human heart and hands to the fullest. Steel and computers wisely managed may produce a sufficiency for survival; they cannot create eros. So the best we can hope for is that every succeeding generation will keep alive the high and fragile vocation of struggling to create a more humane world."
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