A Letter from a Columbine High School Student

Court of Honor
Troop 81, London, England
September 23, 2003

I would like read you this letter:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have much taller buildings, but shorter tempers;

Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints;

We spend more, but have less;

We buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families;

More conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense;

More knowledge, but less judgment;

More experts, but more problems;

More medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life;

We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We've conquered outer space, but not inner space;

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;

We've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals;

We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character;

Steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare;

More leisure, but less fun;

More kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce;

of fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom;

A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to make a difference…or just hit delete.

Good night, gentlemen.

Note: I found this letter on the Internet and while a number of sources refute its authenticity, I find the message unmistakable.  We are a skeptical people living in a skeptical world.  But we are also a people governed by free will and choice.  We can choose to make a difference in our world.  We can't all be crusaders and champions of justice and freedom, but by simply living the Scout Oath and Law we can have a positive and lasting influence.  The choice is really up to us.