A person like Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn’t be able to rally people to realize his great dream today. He would be as desperate for hourly retweets as the rest of us, gathering “likes” from followers on Facebook as a substitute for marching with them. Imagine John F. Kennedy attempting to rally national support for a decade-long race to the moon? The extreme present is not an environment conducive to building lasting movements.
But without a guiding narrative to make sense and create purpose, we end up relying too much on whatever happens to be happening in the moment. When it occurs, we over-respond to the latest school shooting. But over the long term, we lack the resolve or attention span to do anything to stop others from occurring.