The question is not if but, rather, when and how we will get to meet ETs.
People who have seen a "UFO" usually weren’t expecting it; they were "taken by surprise". A lover, on the other hand, will wait patiently on a park bench for hours, flowers in hand. Between these extremes, a meeting implies each taking a step towards the other: it is a joint venture that lays the foundation for mutual discovery. From this, great friendships can be born.
With the glaring light pollution currently covering most of the planet, who looks up in the hope of seeing a flying saucer? Even astronomers are too busy with distant galaxies to be bothered to look a little closer to us. Yet, as Paul Hellyer, Former Canadian Minister of National Defence, said, "UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead". There are none so blind as those who will not see...
Who can say with certainty that the "UFO" they just saw was not actually made here on Earth? On the other hand, how can we be sure that that person who just went by on his bike is not from another planet? We, doubtlessly, have many prejudices about what we still call "little green men", and getting rid of these will take time. When we have so many misconceptions about our own neighbours, what hope is there for us understanding civilisations from other planets?
"Meeting up" requires (and more formally, behoves) us to take a step forward. Even if no-one can guarantee that the meeting will take place at a pre-ordained time, we can at least prepare for it. The first step, the one that kicks everything off, is up to us and we may have to repeat it several times. The first step is to get to know our neighbours, their customs and their cultures. Let’s welcome the traveller properly: this will not happen without a lot of emotions coming to the surface. Don’t be surprised. Don’t give in to panic. Be prepared for the expected overwhelm. The stakes are high, but it is certainly worth the effort!