An Inspiring Correspondence
How are you today, my dear reader? Hoping that you are counting your blessings regularly as well as finding contentment and inner peace with the person that you are, I want to share with you a story about the inspiring correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both played a pivotal role in the American struggle for independence that took place in the 18th Century. After the United States gained independence, they both served as its president. Adams was the second President of the United States while Jefferson was the third. And after finishing their terms as presidents, they began exchanging letters beginning from the year 1812 until 1826 when they both died on the same day.
The letters they both exchanged, beginning from 1812, were about history, theology and politics of the day. And on analysing those letters, three traits emerge in Adams and Jefferson: a passion for learning, capacity for independent thought and a friendship grounded in the deepest respect and admiration for one another.
Adams and Jefferson were both voracious readers and prolific writers. Adams had a great library in Massachusetts; Jefferson, one of the finest in Virginia. They were both fluent in English, Greek, Latin and French. And they often recommended books for one another and discussed about their contents to each other.
Like on Plato's Republic, which both of them loathed, Jefferson, in a letter that speaks much of his independence of thought, wrote to Adams:
I laid it down often to ask myself how it could have been that the whole world should have consented to give reputation to such nonsense as this.Adams replied:
I am very glad you have seriously read Plato, and still more rejoiced to find that your reflections upon him so perfectly harmonize with mine.It's not only their breadth of learning that is impressing, but their passion for it. Adams wrote to Jefferson:
So many subjects crowd upon me that I know not which to begin with.On the particular subject of government, which they both loved, Adams insisted:
You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.Jefferson concurred and wrote back:
...But why am I dosing you with these ante-diluvian topics? Because I am glad to have someone whom they are familiar with and who will not receive them as if dropped from the moon.Then five years before their death, the 86-year old Adams wrote to Jefferson:
Must we, before we take our departure from this grand and beautiful world, surrender all our pleasing hopes of the progress of society? Of improvement of the intellectual and moral condition of the world? Of the reformation of mankind?A passion for learning, capacity for independent thought and a friendship rooted in deep respect and admiration for one another - again, these are the traits that come out in the inspiring correspondence between Adams and Jefferson. I am also trying to cultivate in myself those qualities each passing day. So help me God.
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Could Mars Be The Next America?
It's exactly 6.12pm here in Kiserian as I pen this story. The incandescent Sun is setting in the Ngong Hills that form the Western horizon of my home-area. On my part, I have been feeling rather lazy and lousy most of the afternoon. To cheerful myself up, I have decided to let my imagination loose by thinking about the worlds beyond.
As you probably know, we live in a mysterious universe. A very mysterious universe indeed. It is said that 99.86% of the mass in the solar system is in the Sun. That means planets like Jupiter, Saturn and our own Earth only account for 0.14% of the mass in the solar system. Interesting, isn't it?
To make the story more interesting, it is said that our galaxy (the Milky Way) is made up of billions of stars, some of which are bigger than the Sun. And there are billions of galaxies in the universe, some of which are bigger than the Milky Way.
All those stars and galaxies in the universe imply that there are trillions and trillions of planets. I wouldn't be surprised if future generations find one that supports life. I am thinking they could discover a planet in another galaxy where people go to after they die.
And I am also thinking about the possibility of future generations establishing the first interplanetary civilization. But which planet will they first inhabit? I surmise it will be Mars, a neighbouring planet that was named after the harsh Greek god of war.
The naming of the planet was fitting and appropriate because research has shown the planet to be too harsh to support life. Its atmosphere, made up mainly of carbon dioxide, is so thin that a man landing there without a space-suit would die in minutes. And the planet is so cold that some atmospheric gases have condensed into dry ice.
But why am I surmising that Mars will be the first planet to be conquered by future generations? For four reasons.
First, the planet is near to Earth and isn't as hot as Venus, the other neighbouring planet.
Secondly, unlike on Earth where it is threatening life, global warming will make Mars more habitable. Should the Earth become unbearably hot due to global warming, I foresee future generations seeking refuge in Mars, just like the way people in the 18th Century emigrated from the Old World to America in search of freedom and wealth.
Thirdly, Mars is rich in iron oxide, sulphates and silicates which could produce enough oxygen to support life in the process of extracting iron, sulphur and silicon, the elements that mostly drive the economy.
Fourthly, I foresee future generations conquering Mars because its force of gravity is weaker than that of the Earth. That means less energy would be required to walk, play and carry goods. And the weak gravity would make exploration to further planets easier because less energy would be needed to launch rockets into space.
Yes, Mars has the potential to be the next land of opportunities. And should future generations succeed in conquering it, I foresee the Martian Dream - Mars version of the American dream.
If you've enjoyed this story of mine on why Mars could be the next America, you might also enjoy another one on "The Thuita Doctrine" which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive into the story.