Neil Armstrong: The end of an era, maybe a new beginning for all?
This past Thursday, we got the sad news of Neil Armstrong’s death. The first man to walk on the moon on that fateful day of July 20, 1969, watched by over 600 million people worldwide, he changed the future of generations by making the impossible possible, the unreachable reachable. In his own words, that was indeed “one small step for man: a giant leap for mankind.”
Although this occurred a decade before I was even born (stop counting hmmm..), it certainly did define its generation, mine and those after mine in a radical way. From all corners of the world, from my small neighborhood in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, the moon was no longer an unattainable image, an unreachable ideal. If someone had done it before I was even an idea in the universe, then not even the sky is a limit!
Yet I was pleasantly surprised to read accounts that Armstrong was a rather self-effaced, reticent man, borderline shy scientist who did not particularly like the trappings of fame. Even as one of the greatest heroes of all time, he would stay away from the spotlight most of his life…Inspiring to see that after all, it is really ordinary people who accomplish the most extraordinary feats!
Hearing news of his death, the first thought that came to mind was “What will be the next thing now?”
Is this the end of an era? Is the essence of human curiosity and discovery dying with all these heroes that are leaving us? Are we, as a generation, ready and able to carry the torch, or did we somehow fall asleep on others’ laurels?
It is my hope that as we lose the greats of this world, we do not lose the lessons they taught us, but most importantly we do not lose the spirit they shared with the world: one of passion, of discovery, of making a way where there does not seem to be one…
On this bittersweet yet hopeful note, Happy Monday!
Fly Me To the Moon
Let Me Swing Among Those Stars
Let me See what Spring is Like
On Jupiter and Mars
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