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These things are hard

Mike Lee recently wrote about his feelings on seeing those classic pictures from the American space program, in which the earth appears as a small blue marble set against the backdrop of space. His concluding paragraph:

Life has its waves. There are ups and downs. My not insubstantial gut and my lucky stars both are telling me 2012 is going to be an upswell. Let us do as we do where I grew up and catch that wave. Put aside your fear and cynicism. The future is ours to create. The system is ours to debug and refactor.

For me, the most defining and inspiring moment of the whole space program predates the Space Shuttle, the moon landing, even the Gemini program. It is the words of a politician, driving his country to one of its highest ebbs of innovation and discovery. The whole speech is worth watching, but this sentence encapsulates the sentiment perfectly.

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.

So let us create the future. It is not going to be easy, but we shall choose to do it because it is hard.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. David Spector | December 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    That is JFK’s finest speech… too bad in America (and most of the rest of the world — except maybe China) politicians are too timid to even have a conversation about bold initiatives, let alone act on visions that could make them a reality…

  2. Graham | December 27, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    @david, there’s an old british sitcom called Yes, Minister in which if the civil servant wants to stop the minister from going ahead with some scheme, he tells him that he thinks it’s a “bold” or “courageous” idea. That is the reality of most governments.