Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A defining time

Last week the United States of America celebrated the 40th Anniversary of landing a man on the moon. Those now elderly men had their time in the intense media spotlight of today. One thing stood clear from them, they were men of a rare breed, men who were surrounding by others who joined them in believing in achievement over compliants. It is a place America once was that it seems so far from now.

Now, it seems all the United States can do is hold on. The American people are complaining about every little detail of life. It is ironic. The developments of the moon program, that gave us things like fast processing computers, digital watches and even microwave ovens, created an atmosphere in which people are so fat, happy, and content that achievement seems less important than just holding on.

However, it is man’s desire to reach for something seemingly unattainble that has led to humanity’s greatest advancements. Reaching for the moon gave the people as a whole advancements in daliy life once thought unthinkable. For that matter, explorers who dared to challenge oceans to discover and create lives on this contitnent forever changed history. Further, great humantairians such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. once looked beyond what human beings were and challenged them to be what they could be.

Such is missing today in all of our political leaders. When there is talk of sending up another manned lunar mission or a manned mission to Mars, liberals and conservatives both seem to balk at it. They talk about costs, but the frank reason is there are no well paid lobbyist lining their campaign funds who contend that such challenges be taken on. America has went from the nation that dared to dream and reach to a nation that is pessimistic and has leaders who serve the interests of the well heeled, not the dreams of the future.

It is the biggest thing wrong with the American people and political culture today. Daring to reach beyond expectations and to dream has been replaced with a fear of losing what we have and sense that holding on is accomplishment in and of itself. As a result, freedom itself seems in jeopardy.

Such can not last long. A people either go forward or backward. History is clear that a people can never stand still. The American peolple face a stark choice. Are we a people that believe in freedom, and in dreams, or are we a people that believe in shrinking into history? As a Presidential commission on the space program finishes its work this fall and Congress examines it, will we be a people who still dare to reach beyond ourselves for achievement, or will we let slip the reigns of history we have held for decades?

Though some will sure see it as unfair, it is VUI’s contention that the next few months will define the future of the United States. Some talk of the health care programs debated. For VUI, it is the space program. How we define the coming mission of the space program will define our future. It will tell us whether or not we are a people whose leadership still dares to dream and demands that in working for those dreams that failure is not an option or if we are a people who are satisfied to be led by those who believe we are a people who live for instant gratification and are not capable of summoning the will to go beyond what we are. Here’s hoping we still dare to dream and allow the freedom to dream and achieve.

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