A Fireside Chat with Sonny Rollins (2001)
What's important is that we individually try to do something ourselves. If people feel that global warming is just a plot by some people that want to make us feel bad that we have so much money and we have so much goods, more than any other country in the world and the richest nation in the world, so don't worry about global warming. Don't worry about the environment. It's all a lot of crock to make you feel bad. Let's see, who's the enemy these days? It's the communists or is it the Arabs? Who is it today? Whoever it is, some people think that it is just those people trying to make us feel bad about having fun.
OK, if people feel that way, it's OK. So what I'm saying is that no, I don't care because there is only so much an individual can do. We can do things individuals. If everybody did unto others as you'd have done to you, it would take care of all that stuff about global warming and things to do with the environment. Unfortunately, the people that don't believe in the golden rule are also the people that tell you that it is OK to buy an SUV and it is OK to buy a huge home. It's OK to use up a lot of electricity. It's OK to buy a lot of consumer goods with a lot of packaging that has to be disposed of and dumped some place. It's the same mentality.
So what I'm saying is that mentality is here and it doesn't make me feel terrible to know that. I know that these people are here. Believe me, Fred. I've seen it all my life. I don't think any things have shifted. Things are no better really. It is the same human condition. I've finally got to the point now where I can say what I'm saying to you now. It's part of life and it's part of what each individual has to go through. It's not a big deal. It doesn't distract me in other words.
Yes, I wish we could have a more perfect world. I wish people would do things to make it a better world and all that. But I'm not surprised. I think it's an individual thing. So it's not a matter of my being depressed. If I was depressed about this, I would be in a constant state of depression. I wouldn't say just Americans, the rest of the world because the world wants to be like Americans. Most people want to be able to have stuff and throw it away and to race cars and drive fast and have materials.
I'm not dumping on America here. It's unfortunately a worldwide problem. I feel bad up to a point. This war is being lost anyway because there are too many people that don't care about doing unto others as they would have others do unto them.
FJ: What is the golden rule?
SR: The golden rule is do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That means that, well, it means just what it says, but it implies to everything you do everyday you wake up in life. That's it. It's very simple.
FJ: I would hate to break it to you, Sonny, but you are a superstar.
SR: You mean in like my own mind.
FJ: In everyone's.
SR: Well, if it means what it's supposed to mean, I would be too afraid to walk out of the house.
FJ: You seem at peace with it all.
SR: Well, as much as a person can be. I'm still trying to improve my work. I'm still trying to be a better human being. I'm trying to be a better, responsible person on the planet. I'm still trying to live the golden rule.