At UT Austin in the mid-'70s, I was lucky enough to get into a standing-room-only lecture by Kurt Vonnegut at the Texas Union. He was wonderful! He talked very informally, but passionately, about what it means to be a person of integrity in the world, alive and aware and caring, paying attention to what's going on, putting thought into what it means, taking action according to what you think.
He was especially intense when he talked about the beauty of the vision of America as it was originally conceived, and how sharply we had departed from that vision (already, 30 years ago), and how we must all, if we value our nation, devote our energies to restoring that great vision.
One of my favorites among his many Big Ideas was from The Sirens of Titan: he called it the UWB, the [I]Universal Will to Become.[/i] I imagine it symbolized by the lone dandelion you always see growing up, against all odds, through the tiniest crack in the sidewalk. The UWB is the tendency of things to do rather than not do, to be rather than not be. It's the wonderful way the Universe has of saying YES a little more often than NO.
To me, that's the most perfect emblem of Vonnegut's legacy, that simple belief in the positive.