Most of us travel for ourselves, for our own relaxation or enjoyment. But there are some brave people in this world who, through some unlikely, incredible combination of confidence and selflessness, break through barriers and tread new territory in the universe. True pioneers who go out into the world looking for something new, to bring back the knowledge that’s out there.
Neil Armstrong, one of those rare pioneers, died today at age 82. By all accounts, he was a private man who just wanted to serve his country. But I imagine he had to have within himself some unstoppable drive, some belief that he was uniquely qualified to do what others hadn’t dared to, to allow himself to be hurtled into space and, as the Onion unforgettably put it, walk on the fucking moon. To achieve something that few others could ever hope to, something that seemed impossible up until he made it possible and is still almost unimaginable to us lowly, earth-bound humans, staring up at the big glowing sphere, untouchable and cold, in the night sky.
Most of us will never achieve anything as dramatic as Armstrong, but his life is still a powerful reminder of what people can do with curiosity and ambition and courage. Remember to go out into the world and look for something new. And remember to come back home and share what you found, and inspire the people around you to do the same.