In the summer of 1969, with less technology than what exists in the device you’ll use to share today’s social media tidbits, human beings flew to the moon.
We’re so desensitized to the fact of the matter, that the impossibility of the idea in the 1960’s, not to mention the price that would be paid, is lost on us.
This post is about today — not history — but imagine it for a minute. They flew to the moon!
Before that, there were two brothers at Kitty Hawk who believed something could be built that would enable human beings to fly. Then there were those who chased the speed of sound. And, oh yeah, those early astronauts who willingly climbed into little more than a tin can to test the bounds of earth.
Along the way there were tangents, miscalculations and tragedies, to be sure. But even in the face of unthinkable loss, the impossible pursuits were not deterred.
It’s Not The Size Of The Stage
I’m a sucker for the drama and scope of these pursuits. If you are of a certain age, the afternoon of July 20, 1969 is likely one of those times that is etched in your memory. In mass we were mesmerized by grainy images from a stage 239,000 miles away.
But let’s talk about where we are today.
Every single day, everyday women, men and children pursue what can feel every bit as impossible as a moon-shot.
From educating a child in our current environment to righting unspeakable wrongs…from surviving a pandemic to wrestling with depression for one more hour…from keeping the lights on to feeding those with nothing to eat and no lights to go home to…these days it can feel like 2020 ushered in an endless list of impossibles..
It Isn’t What It Is
You name the challenge (or opportunity) — progress begins with imagining what might be.
Nothing stops progress more quickly than resolving that there is no solution…no answer…no better way…no way to heal…that what we have is what we’re stuck with.
If we can envision what might be, we can begin a productive journey. We can begin to have better conversations.
But Mark it down — we will never progress beyond what we are able to imagine.
When President Kennedy spoke of putting a man on the moon, he reasoned “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…”.
No matter where we find ourselves on this day, whatever the venue, if we are able to imagine what might be possible, we have a benchmark for “the best of our energies.”
We can do this. We can do hard things.