We’ve all been waiting for too long
“We’re waiting for Godot,
until he comes.”
“And if he doesn’t come?”
“Then, we’ll come back tomorrow.”
“If he came yesterday and we weren’t here, you may be sure
he won’t come again today.”
“But you said you were here yesterday.”
“I may have been mistaken.”
Godot — as you know — never comes. “Waiting For Godot,” a tragicomedy in two acts, is about time wasted waiting but is not itself a waste of time.
Not often is something meaningful made from nothing, but “Waiting For Godot” is that. Sometimes, those with few expectations need to reach for something they believe to be beyond their grasp.
Unlike my generation, who spent too much time waiting, the next generation doesn’t have that luxury. Young people have no time to waste waiting. They need to reach. No longer can they linger pining for a Godot who never comes.
Climate change, evidence for it building faster than a melting iceberg but slower than progress from dependence on fossil fuel, requires immediate remediation.
We need to get our allies back and let them know we have their back, as they do ours.
Our national debt is $27 trillion. I’m not worried — I’ll not have to pay it or much of it. That $82,000 for every man, woman, and child won’t include me in most of its amortization. Nearly $1 billion in interest accumulates every day.
Our grandchildren will pay for that, not me.
And they will have to pay for new highways and bridges.
Our public education system is under attack. Illegitimate diversions are limiting access and saddling a generation with additional massive debt.
Despite the benefits of diversity, we yet cling to divisiveness. Somehow, the new generation will have to address that.
Inequality continues to eat at the fabric of our society.
Our nation’s degree of inequity is unsustainable.
We have a virus dragging us down.
George Washinton said: “Congress should be a mirror of the people.” But the mirror is clouding. John Adams said our legislature should be “in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large.”
Maggie Astor, the daughter of an acquaintance of mine, writing recently in the New York Times, observed that, if current population trends continue, by 2040, 70% of Americans will be represented by only 30% of the senators.
A situation so unreflective of Washington and Adam’s model it can not endure.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could tidy things up a bit before turning over so many challenges to the younger set — those between the ages of 18 and 50 or so, who will have to resolve this mess?
Should we not try to clear the way for them — if just a little?
In the mid-1950s, Lady Dorothy Howitt — she of the London, England social and theatre scene — wrote to the Lord Chamberlain. She had a complaint and wished to express it formally. After attending London’s first performance of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting For Godot,” she conveyed the following protest to his lordship:
“One of the many themes running through the play is the desire of two old tramps to continually relieve themselves. Such dramatization of lavatory necessity is offensive and against all sense of British decency.”
— Lady Dorothy Howitt, quoted in The Guardian, Aug. 24, 2005
I can’t help wonder what my lady’s reaction would be to the performance currently playing on our nation’s political stage, where actors are relieving themselves at our expense upon the safeguards of our traditions.
We could help those following us — help pave the way for all the changes needed — by showing those recalcitrant actors the exit, pointing them in the direction of off-street facilities.
Doug Pugh’s “Vignettes” runs weekly on Saturdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.