Ruby descends from podium.
Brienne: We have given voice to Ruby and Miranda’s central values. These are the ideals upon which they will build their life together: universal flourishing and endless growth. But they are not the only ones who share those values.
This ceremony is not held in private. It is held before all of us, a community of purpose, created not by accident of location or genetics, but by the goals and values we share with Ruby and Miranda. We are here to support them in their commitment, to hold them to it, and to join them in it. I now call upon Oliver to speak of this community.
Oliver ascends podium.
IMAGE 4 PROJECTED ON PLANETARIUM
Oliver commences speech.
In the last half hour I observed something beautiful. And it wasn’t only the the wonderful images of the night sky. It wasn’t only the epic and beautiful speeches that we just listened to. It was something, that many of you might not have even noticed. But for me it was the most impressive thing this evening.
When Nate talked about the darkness above us. How we are threatened to be crushed under the weight of a universe that does not care about us. I saw genuine fear and worry in all of you.
When Tara read Jess’ piece about the progress of the human race. About the people that lived, the people that died, the beauty of this culture, this life, this city and… all of this. About how not all hope is lost, and we are still marching on. I saw warmth and caring in all of you.
And when Riva painted a picture of the future. A future without suffering, without limitations, and without the shackles of time. I saw so many of us looking up at this artificial sky, some clenching our fists, longing for the stars, knowing that what separates us from them, is just a few hundred years. When Riva spoke, I saw joy, and hope, and a dedication to fight for our dreams, in all of you.
And ultimately. When Ruby talked about how we, as a community, need to get stronger. How we are not yet set up for the tasks ahead of us. How we will overcome every challenge that lies ahead of us, or die trying. When he spoke, I saw that never ending urge to improve in all of you, and with it, all of the memories in which you all have helped me grow myself.
And this blew me away. I cannot imagine another group of people who would have reacted the same way. Because you all care, you all fight, and you are all here for a reason.
This is what makes this community so special. And this is why Ruby and Miranda are here, among you people, under this sky, today.
If we want to win, we need to make sure that we make use of all the tools that are available to us. We are social apes, and there is little as powerful as our social environment in changing us. If the people around us are strong, we will become stronger. If the people around us build something that helps all of us, then united we will grow faster than we ever could alone. This is why we need to fight this war, not as a loose pack of lone wolves, but as a community.
How rare is it, that I can change my mind, without having to be shunned for my inconsistency?
How rare is it, that I can talk about the things that I really care about, without being judged as too ambitious, or disconnected from the world?
How rare is it, that I can sing out loud, and dance, and laugh and play, without the need of keeping up a mask for the people around me?
And how rare is it, that I can be accepted with all of my flaws, and tolerated with all of my idiosyncrasies, without having to justify myself?
The answer is: rare. Even here. But it is a decent bit more common than in any other place I’ve ever been.
I will not pretend that we are perfect. Because we are not. People in our midst feel excluded every day. When someone shows me how I am wrong, I will, myself, often lash out at them. I am a burden to everyone around me, on many days. We all make mistakes, and we are all far from perfect.
But we are trying. As small monkeys on a pale blue dot, we are trying. And if there is one place, and one group on this planet that I can imagine eventually making all of these rare things abundant, it is this one.
Ruby and Miranda have come here today, because they want to embark on a journey with us, and it will be a hell of journey.
Because, when I am thinking about leaving Earth to colonize the stars, you are the people I would like to take with me.
Because, when we are not perfect, we try to get better.
When we are wrong, we try to notice as quickly as possible.
When we disagree, we acknowledge that at most, one of us is right. And probably neither.
And whenever I have the feeling that one of you is crazy, I will make damn sure to be twice as sceptical of myself, than I am of you. Because you all just tend to be too god damn right. (That goes especially for you, Scott).
This ceremony is as much a celebration of Ruby and Miranda, as it is one for all of us. They are not forging this bond alone. The promise that they are making to each other today, is also a promise to us. A promise to never stop fighting, a promise to never stop growing, and a promise to march on with care, warmth, and an urge to find the truth.
And I will happily take that promise with them.