Friday, July 18, 2014

In Space, No One Can Hear You Reminisce

             On July 20th Americans will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first men to land on the moon. I wasn’t around in 1969 and only have the TV fueled memories or firsthand accounts of my forbearers to describe this incredible moment in human history. We made it to another celestial body through sheer grit and determination. (Although my brother in law would beg to differ, he is a moon landing conspirator believer. He thinks it was staged which makes me sad).

            However, I fully and wholeheartedly believe that we landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 and managed, for a short time, to view the world from a very different perspective. Men stood on the moon and looked back at Earth. A single planet floating in a sea of darkness, so isolated from the rest of the universe, so small in comparison to the vastness of the void around us. There was a moment that reminded us, the inhabitants: we’re all in this together. There is no other Earth to toddle off to. It seemed that an age of reason and science might prevail over the darkness of human pettiness.

            45 years later and we’re still squabbling over what nation owns what land, and who’s border goes where. We’re still fighting among ourselves over the very things that make us who we are and what we endeavor to become. We can do better than the whole God, no God, many Gods, a Flintstone history, an evolutionary history or the fart of an all-powerful space lord debates consuming the minds of the passengers of our little blue planet. Does it really matter? Does any of this squabbling and in-fighting in any way work toward the progression of our species? I don’t think so.

            The United States once had a President that challenged a nation to be greater, to be more, and to stand up to the challenges of that age and overcome them. The people listened and learned, evolved, changed and made something amazing happen. We went to another space body. We landed on our moon, live, on TV, with the world watching and I think in that moment an incredible future seemed possible. It was in our grasp as long as we didn’t get sidetracked by the shortsighted goals of the few. The few, the closed minded, the fear mongers, the war hawks, the deniers, the liars, the scandalous, the ignorant and the childish, that almost always seem to wrangle their way in and start mucking up the joint.

            The bar was set very high and flying cars and rocket packs never came about, frankly I think those things are really impractical. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of you drive after a few cocktails and I wouldn’t trust you with a damn jet car. The shortcomings of those never to be had inventions should not limit or diminish our creative spirit. As a people, as a species, we’re capable of the most amazing things and our only limits are the limits we put on ourselves.

            We limit ourselves with armed conflicts, crime, religious arguments, policy issues, poverty, selfies and we have only ourselves to blame. We went to the damn moon. We did it because we knew that as we got older as a species, as technology improved, as old world barriers broke down, we’d have to rely on each other more. This is our only home, we’re stuck with each other and we have to remember that all time, even the Earth’s time is fleeting.

            It’s not important in the long run that you have the best new cell phone or the most land near the Red Sea, or how much anti-abortion money you can raise. It’s important that we recognize the challenges ahead of us and not the saddle burrs of the past. We can do better; we can see what those first Astronauts saw, a unified planet floating peacefully through the cosmos.

            I’m getting a little dizzy on my soapbox, I’ll get down now. Whew, I better sit.

No comments:

Post a Comment