Last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first landing on the moon.
This incredible achievement required hundreds of thousands of people working over many years–the culmination of President John F. Kennedy’s directive in 1962 to get to the moon within a decade.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the lunar landing are engrained in history: A small step for man–one giant leap for mankind.
It’s telling that Armstrong didn’t talk about the space race between the US and the Russians. He didn’t brag about this being an American conquest. He talked about mankind in general. It was an achievement for ALL of us.
Today, we have other critical challenges: mitigating the effects of climate change, curing cancer and other complicated diseases, addressing the plights of those fleeing armed conflict and terrorism in their home nations–to name just a few.
We could do well to heed Kennedy’s 1962 message:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
What we’re facing today is just as hard–and made harder when we let ourselves be distracted by engaging in competitive races between nations where someone must lose for others to win.
But if we engage together “to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills,” to accept the challenges in front of us, we might just be able to make that leap again.
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