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Friday, August 19, 2011

We Just Decided to Go

Earlier today, Wil Wheaton posted this pic on twitter:



I'd never heard it before, but now I'm totally in love with it.

I think so many people take for granted that we went to the moon, especially my generation and the ones following. I was born 15 years after we landed on the moon, and 8 years after Star Wars came out. So by that time, adventures in space already felt somewhat commonplace.

With all the CGI and special effects, all the fake outerspace, we've forgotten that we've really been there. We didn't just make it up. We were there.

People stared up at the stars for centuries, making up stories, monitoring time, imagining all the grand adventures that go on up there. And we went there, after centuries of mankind dreaming about it.

The impact of that had been lost on me until today. I saw this really awesome movie about the Hubble telescope in the omnitheater a few months back, but in a way, these are things I've been seeing my whole life, either in text books or in summer blockbusters.

I forgot how totally fricking insane is that we traveled thousands of miles in outer space, in an atmosphere we can't even breathe, to a giant lifeless rock floating in the sky.

Not only does it make everything I've ever done seem really inconsequential, it reminds me that everything is possible. We hold the power to shape our lives, our dreams, our worlds to be whatever we want them to be - no matter how far fetched they may seem.


The point is we went to the moon because we decided to go there. We worked hard to make it a reality. If we can do that, then what's stop us from doing anything else? The biggest obstacle between a man and his dream is himself. 

I don't know. I just feel really re-energized and inspired by that. The simplicity and almost obviousness of Jim Lovell's quote. "We just decided to go." So I thought I'd shared it with you.

29 comments:

  1. Amanda, as a long time reader of your blog, this is the first time I've seen you really reach 'beyond'. Much respect.

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  2. I love the sign too and at the same time it makes me sad. This year marks the end of government run space travel and that is going to be a large part of the lost love you spoke of. Kids can't dream to be an astronaut if it isn't a job title to aspire toward.
    There is still so much out there that we need to see and I feel that we may have dowsed a light in a few of our future scientists, by taking away their rock stars.
    Great post Amanda, it reminds you to keep dreaming.

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  3. first of all i like your new picture
    believe it or not but this old guy worked for GE and NASA on pre appolo space vehicles and the in a apollo support mission. selling 1 stupid ebook is the hardest thing i have ever done. i cant believe it because i think my ebook is something that everyone that uses a computer needs, plus with the info from my ebook a person can not only have their computer running faster than new but can also fix other peoples computers and make as much as 62k a year with all the people out of work you would think i should have no problem but i have been beating my head against the wall and have sold zilch. sorry everybody

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  4. Great quote. I hadn't heard it before, either, and I love finding new ones.

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  5. Oh, and I have to echo Paul: Great new pic. I want those headphones now. Sigh. Awesomeness.

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  6. Wow, thank you so much for sharing that with us. I'd never heard that quote before either, but you're right--it's powerful.

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  7. Wil Wheaton is a super-intelligent guy. I follow his twitter, his tumblr, and his blog. He leans left which also suits me as I'm a left-thinking kinda guy (politically speaking).

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  8. Oooh, I love that! I'm re-energized now, too! We CAN do whatever we set our minds to. All we have to do is DECIDE!

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  9. That quote is a great tribute to our innovative spirit. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Very inspiring! Something we should all keep in mind.

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  11. With all the technology we take for granted today it seems too often forget the inspiration that got us here.

    But beyond even that I really fear the spirit which took us to the moon in the first place has died in most people. It seems far too few strive for greatness any more and instead settle for "Reality TV" fueled mediocrity.

    The hard truth is we, as people, manufacture our own futures. Amanda, like a few, brave other souls has proved that.

    (Amanda, I apologize in advance for the off topic question)

    I don't think you saw it on your FB page but would you be open to doing a short author interview for the almost 11K vampire novel fans? You were one of their top choices!

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  12. Great post Amanda. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  13. Great post, Amanda! And wow, I love your new profile photo! Beautiful.

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  14. Thank you. It's good to be reminded that the great things in life are done by the people who just decide to go. They're not necessarily the bravest, the strongest, or the wisest--they are simply the most determined, the ones willing to step out of their comfort zone and do the things they've dreamed of.

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  15. Like writing a novel. Because we can.

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  16. Whoa. I watched Apollo 13 last night, and Tom Hanks does a great job delivering this line.

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  17. I'm old enough that I remember the events as they happened. I was a kid but the significance and the wonder of landing on the moon still hit me like a freight train. And it does to this day. That sense of awe and wonder and I will never lose that.

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  18. "We just decided to go." Very straight and to the point like, "Just Do It."

    It is interesting to think that with so much that our generation has grown accustomed to, such a thing as going to the moon TODAY would be generic. But to remember this event in the awe-inspring way it's meant to be remembered, this quote sums it up with mind blowing simplicity.

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  19. "I forgot how totally fricking insane is that we traveled thousands of miles in outer space, in an atmosphere we can't even breathe, to a giant lifeless rock floating in the sky."

    And spent billions of dollars doing it, too. Think about it.

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  21. Amanda, those of us who lived through the Cold War remember that the Apollo space program was championed by the Kennedy administration as an effort to keep the United States ahead of the Soviet Union in a new and important military theater: space. The moon was considered high ground, and if the Reds got there first the fear was they would be able to rain missiles down on the US with impunity.

    The remarkable thing about the Space Race is that it brought together the worst and best traits of humanity -- the paranoia, fear, greed, and aggression, along with the ingenuity, persistence, and endurance -- to achieve something no one thought possible: travel across empty space to another heavenly body, explore it, and come home again.

    How utterly human. How wonderful. And how I miss it!

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  22. Thank you for such an energizing start to my day. I haven't read every post you've written, but the passion in this one sets it up there with the one about the musician who said "there is no silver bullet-just do it." (I'm totally mis-quoting. That's just the message I remember from the vid. Hmm. Should re-view.) Muchos gracias.

    Cidney
    (Who cut teeth on Lost in Space and Star Trek.)

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  23. Amanda that was great! I totally feel you. You and I are from the same generation. I feel we take soo... much for granted period!

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  24. I'm not a huge space person but you should watch Ron Howard's In the Shadow of the Moon. It's fascinating!

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  25. A friend pointed this post out to me - as an ex-rocket scientist and engineer who worked for NASA, Jim Lovell is just a hero, plain and simple. You should watch Apollo 13 (the movie) if you haven't already!

    Thanks for the great post.

    p.s. I'm excited to be participating in the re-release of Switched tomorrow by hosting one of St. Martin's book giveaways! Congrats on your re-launching!

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