“I have been studying the history of Old Earth, before this time in which we live now, and before all the governments of Earth had been bent to the will of one state. I believe that it is indeed possible for many voices to join in one song, but to do so, one must be careful that no one voice is silenced.
I lived a number of Cycles knowing too well what it was to be the silent one, and I suppose that was the first seed of my wanting to do something for my people; to make sure none of them felt as if they had to be silent.
I fell into the same role on the world called Holdfast. Much of that is recorded in the second book about my life, so I will not recount the details here. But, as before, I found that every real change in the universe begins with four small seeds; four small words: “You are not alone.”
These words can be the message a planetary government gets from a first encounter with a civilization they call ‘alien’–a human word I discovered meant only ‘not-us’. It can be a message of comfort from one who is free to one who is in prison, or from one prisoner to another.
These words can mean an enemy is watching, or that a friend is nearby–and sometimes, the difference lies in the way we choose to receive the message.
But always, these words bring change. We cannot acknowledge that another is not alone without recognizing that the same is true of ourselves: if you are not alone, then neither am I.
Thinking that we are alone can be peaceful, but it can also be more fearsome than the company of one who hates us.
I began to reach out to others when I realized that I was not alone, and wanted others to know the same.
I did not realize just how much change could come from the simple seeds of four words.
I have been called special by some whom I have talked to and taught; been held above others when that is the last thing I have wanted. I say to you who read these words: the seeds I have planted, you can plant, in your own life and the lives of others.
You are not alone. There are those who do not want you to know this, just as there were those who did not want me to know it. And that is why I tell you.
Do not be afraid to plant your roots in soil shared by others, for in the end, all of it is soil shared by others, whether it be the soil of the worlds we are born on, or the black of the Sea of Stars.
Shared roots are deep roots, and will not easily be moved or torn. This is what I learned on Evohe; this is what I taught on Holdfast.
These may be small seeds, but I hope that the roots that have sprung from them will prove deep.
It is my hope that these simple words–whose meaning is much more than simple–will be seeds for change.
We are not alone–but how we act toward the others with whom we share the garden of our lives is up to us.”