Neil Armstrong: a story of Community & the Power of Positive Thinking
“Neil was among the greatest of American heroes — not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.” — U.S. President Barack Obama
So I’ve been reading news of Neil Armstrong’s passing, at age 82, on August 25, 2012. I began to think of what impact that which he did and said had for us still today. It’s not every day that someone even thinks they’re going to be able to set foot on the moon. But to actually make it happen, that takes some positive thinking and a little help from a community which can build the craft which enables flight to the moon as well as others involved in such a mission. I thought this related to some of my other posts in a sense, because it shows both that Neil and those who were working with him never gave up on a dream to ultimately set foot on the moon for the first time in history and it also demonstrates what grand things community can accomplish.
Of course, a lot of focus is currently on Neil himself and his famous quote: “It’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” But there had to be others involved in the mission to ensure it was possible, and that it went smoothly as well. Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were also astronauts that were a part of the moon landing mission.
No doubt, Neil Armstrong, himself, did something spectacular and is admired by many for his mission to the moon; but as Barrack Obama includes in the above quote “he and his fellow crew members” worked together, there was a team effort. Neil, himself, seems to have understood that his act of stepping out to land on the moon was only a small thing for himself, but an amazing occurrence for humanity or “mankind” as a whole. He saw it as his mission as a part of a team, and that the team should be acknowledged as opposed to just him. Thus, he never spoke about it to reporters or the media. The name and the event of the moon landing is often noted, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in the media or in interviews at all. He seems to be a very private individual, and by some of the things I’ve read, I’ve questioned if his personality type would be an introvert (to tie this in with one of my other posts about personality).
I never used to think that much of this one mission to the moon, as I was not here when it occurred, and it’s basically common knowledge as far as I’m aware, that it happened. But maybe my perception also had something to do with having a father who has always said that nothing is impossible, if you believe in it. What Neil accomplished could only be done by believing in the fact that it was a possible mission to complete, because focusing on the fear of it failing miserably would never be able to cause it to work as well as it did. If it worked, despite of such a fear, it would be a bit of luck rather than anything else that made it happen; not the power of positive thinking on the part of Neil, as well as his crew and all others involved in making the mission a success.
May he rest in peace now that his time, on earth, as Neil Armstrong is complete.