Last night, for reasons not quite clear, I went with a friend to Notre Dame Academy's football field to hear some high school rock bands and watch people toss footballs around. In actual reality they were not only tossing footballs but also throwing frisbees, kicking soccer balls, playing keep-away and lacrosse, spinning hula hoops, and engaging in several other joint activities in a quietly exhuberent, unstructured way.
And, I might add, unsupervised. So far as I could see, there were 5 adults present (including my friend and I), none of whom had any apparent responsibility for the activities. That doesn't include a few former students of NDA who had returned from college and joined in.
As the bands played on the sideline, the rest of the people played cooperatively with their balls and other toys. The various groups playing their various games continually adjusted their space to accomodate their neighbors who were playing different games. The soccer players sometimes had to play through the football game, the footballers would toss back the frisbees which floated into their scrimmage, players of one sport would drift into another game, and sometimes drift back again, and in general everyone adjusted to the needs of everyone else.
I was a little bit unhappy that there were so few adults.
It seems to me that adults tend to get over idealism. It is adults more than teenagers who have the need to witness a little bit of Utopia lived out in actual reality, even if only for a few hours.
But never mind. The people who were there on the football field will soon be the adults running the world. And maybe they will remember that the prophets could be right and that the vision of living peacefully together is not a fantasy but a vision of reality, a picture of life not only as we might wish it to be but as it is really is, even if only for a few hours.