Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track by interpretation of the expression in bold in the following excerpt from an NYT’s article?
America still has the right stuff to thrive. We still have the most creative, diverse, innovative culture and open society — in a world where the ability to imagine and generate new ideas with speed and to implement them through global collaboration is the most important competitive advantage. China may have great airports, but last week it went back to censoring The New York Times and other Western news sites. Censorship restricts your people’s imaginations. That’s really, really dumb. And that’s why for all our missteps, the 21st century is still up for grabs.
John Kennedy led us on a journey to discover the moon. Obama needs to lead us on a journey to rediscover, rebuild and reinvent our own backyard.
I know that “up for grabs” = “available to anyone, as in “Now that he’s resigned his job is up for grabs.” This term alludes to something being thrown in the air for anyone to grasp or catch.
I guess we could assume for granted the following meaning of the expression in question “generally accessible”, “free for all” , "a bag full with fortune".
Thank you for your efforts.
Well, since nobody can own a century it can't be up for grabs. I suppose the writer means that we can't know what the future is going to bring. (That does state the obvious, but it says it in a different way than usual. Call that an improvement if you want.)