The Words of the Weber Family
We interrupt this program to bring you continuing news coverage on the incident surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the residents of Littleton. We take you now to the town hall in the neighboring city of Manchester where Professor Edward Steele is about to speak. Professor Steele has first-hand knowledge of how and why the inhabitants of Littleton disappeared.
Professor Steele rose to speak and looked out at a roomful of leaders and scientists. Everyone had come for an explanation about what had just happened in Littleton. He walked up to the podium. What would he say? Would the listeners be able to understand?
Taking a deep breath, he began, "It all started with a discussion about laws and why we need them." He paused to gather his thoughts together. "You see, in terms of human relationships and how people are to get along, laws are a necessity if selfish people are to live together. Whether for an individual, group, or nation, laws set limits and prohibit people from violating their minimal social responsibility."
His memories went back now, and he explained to his audience about when Heather, a former student and friend was visiting from a small town named Littleton that became famous when a ghost tiger had put it in the news. She and Professor Steele walked through the big city talking about when she was his student and how she appreciated all that he had taught her. But, both of them were bothered by how tense life in the big city had become and by how rude people were now. They were bothered by how many laws were needed to get people to live together in peace with each other. The atmosphere was especially hectic that day as people walked down the busy sidewalks bumping into each other and pushing each other aside. Cars blocked intersections preventing traffic from going the other way when the light changed, and also pedestrians were continually walking against the light in front of traffic, preventing cars from moving.
Heather and the professor talked about how badly people were treating each other and how they were only thinking of themselves. As a result, things kept grinding to a halt just like the traffic. Finally, she looked at the professor intently. "Professor Steele, I want you to visit me in Littleton," she said, "to see something very important. But please visit me before the end of next week. Otherwise it will be too late!"
"What do you want me to see?" he asked.
She looked out at the city and then back at him and smiled. "Our town is very different," she said. "We don't have what you would consider rules and regulations!" Needless to say, this led her and the professor into a long discussion about laws and why they are necessary.
Professor Steele's memories now came back to the present, and he looked out at the hundreds of eyes staring at him. "You see," he continued, "no laws are needed between people who naturally live their lives for the sake of others in totally unselfish ways." He saw looks of skepticism on the faces of his listeners. "Well tell me," he continued, "have you ever heard of a law regulating people who are genuinely devoted to the service of their neighbors?"
As he continued speaking his memories went back to when he had arrived in Littleton to visit Heather. It was actually the last day of the week before he could arrange the visit. He remember looking around the town in amazement as he came down the street. It was crowded; people were everywhere busily going to and fro about their business. But it was amazingly peaceful. He didn't feel the tenseness that he always felt when walking the streets of a big city. A uniquely pleasant atmosphere permeated every corner of the town. People were not bumping into each other or getting in each other's way. He had never seen anything like it before.
He walked up the steps to Heather's home where she greeted him with a smile. "What do you think of our town so far?" she asked.
"I'm impressed," he said looking around. "I never imagined any place could have such a light and inviting atmosphere!"
Heather looked sternly at him. "We who live in Littleton learned a very important lesson some time ago," she said, "the importance of living totally unselfish lives -- lives in service of others."
The professor laughed, scoffing at this idea. "Oh, sure! Like Utopia or Shangri-la?"
"No," she said. "Littleton is unique, completely different from those so called ideals, as you will see! Come, let me show you around!"
They left Heather's house and began walking through the town. Immediately they were greeted by a couple on the street. "Are you ready?" they said to Heather. "The time is getting close, you know!"
"I'll be ready soon," she replied. "I'm taking care of one last important thing!'
"What's going on?" I asked. "What are you getting ready for?"
She looked at her watch. "Only a short time to go!" she whispered, and then she looked at the professor. "There isn't much time. I have some important things to show you!"
As they continued to walk through Littleton, Professor Steele noticed that the way people were treating each other was radically different than what he was used to in the big city. There was a general feeling of real cooperation between the people, a sense of friendliness and unity between them. But, there was something more. What was it? An inkling of an idea flashed through his mind, and he stopped short. "Oh my gosh!" I said.
Heather looked at him. "Are you beginning to see it?" she asked.
Professor Steele was stunned. Walking over to a car, he started examining it more closely. "What kind of car is this?" he asked. "I've never seen anything quite like it."
"Pretty interesting, isn't it?" Heather said. "It runs on solar energy. Your society will work out how to make such a car in the future. But, several technicians here in Littleton worked together to iron out the problems and were able to make this car a few months ago."
The professor gasped and stepped back in amazement. Then his attention was attracted to a poster advertising a restaurant. It had a beautiful color picture of a family eating a wonderfully delicious looking meal. But, the thing that attracted his attention to it was that it was three-dimensional! It had depth and form as if the people and the meal were really there!
Heather smiled. "It's a new type of photography that even goes beyond the best type of stereo photography or holograms. It was devised by three of our scientists from what seemed to be totally unrelated fields. They discovered it by accident while they were helping each other on various projects." She looked at her watch again as if she were pressed for time. Then she looked back at the professor. "What else have you noticed?" she asked.
"On the surface your town looks normal," he whispered. "But, looking closer I see advanced and futuristic things that I didn't know existed yet!" Looking around again he saw a man raking leaves in his yard, but not with a rake! It was with a pole that seemed to magically lift the leaves up off his lawn and shoot them into bags. At another house he saw a little girl sitting on the front porch playing a musical instrument that he had never seen before, and the music she played was simply glorious! "What's going on?" he asked.
Heather looked at him again. "Something is also missing," she said. "Have you seen any police or law enforcement since you have been here?"
Shocked, Professor Steele had to sit down on a park bench as his vision scanned the streets, searching. "No police?" he asked.
"More than that," said Heather. "No laws as you know them! It's like I mentioned when I first invited you here! We don't need laws or regulations to get along. We are living our lives in service of others, and because we do, we have less quarreling and conflicts. As a result of our cooperation and working together, Littleton's society has been advancing and progressing faster than that of the rest of the world. Because of our way of life here, our society is somewhat futuristic compared to what you are used to." She looked at her watch again. "We have been looking around the town a long time now," she said. "It's nearly time! The countdown is almost over!"
"Countdown?" the professor asked.
"Yes," she said. "Months ago we made an unusual discovery, the power to open a doorway to the stars! But, it takes the united effort of everyone in the town working together to make this happen. For the last few months, we have been preparing and counting down to the time when we are going to open this doorway and leave. The countdown is almost over. Tonight we leave on our journey to the stars!"
People were now coming out onto the streets and joining hands. One by one their hands touched, gripping others until they had joined in one huge circle in the center of town. Now Heather reached out, the last one to join in the circle. "Take what you have seen back with you," she said. "Explain to others about how a society can work and progress if only people live for the sake of others instead of for their own selfish interests!"
Heather now joined the circle gripping the hands of those on either side of her. "Good-bye, professor," she said. "Thanks for what you taught me when I was your student. Now take what you are learning from me, and give it to the rest of society."
There was a rushing noise, and a strong wind started blowing as if some huge doorway had been opened somewhere. Then there was a blinding flash of light, and suddenly all was silent and peaceful again. Professor Steele looked around in awe!
Everyone in Littleton was gone! They had simply disappeared!
Now these memories faded, and as he finished speaking, the professor found himself looking out at a disbelieving audience. He look around and smiled. Taking a deep breath, he concluded: "There is a theory that if mankind had not been warlike, our civilization would have advanced so quickly that we could have had space travel to the planets as far back as the time of Moses. You see, when you become the type of person who does not live for yourself alone, but instead lives for the sake of others, then through service and unity you can accomplish great and amazing things." He paused. "Become like the people of Littleton," he said. "As a result, you will find yourself reaching for the stars… and even going beyond!"