This World needs to start Dreaming again
I recently stumbled across a video on YouTube that said what I had been thinking so convincingly that I felt compelled to share it with you, and offer my thoughts on it.
The video is narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (an assemblage of quotes from various speeches). He is a scientist that has a nearly unique ability to convey complex messages in a way that people can understand them. He has a great passion for his field, and people respond to that as well. I watched this short film, and right about the first time one of the time lapse clips of the sky ran across, I got goosebumps. By the end, my eyes started tearing up.
Why this show of emotion for a man speaking and archival NASA footage? Because he captured exactly what is missing in the world today-dreams. We've become so beaten down by today, that we can't even bother to worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow? I'm just trying to get through today.-or something along those lines.
What Neil says is very simple-dreams are hope. If you have no dreams, you have no hope. If you have no hope, you have no future.
I have a few more thoughts to share with you, but I don't want to ruin the impact of the video itself, so I will embed it here so that you can watch it without leaving the page.
Dreams do come with a cost, as anything else does in this world. But something was put into stark relief during this clip. But if you do not dream, you do not work to bring those dreams to reality. If you do not dream, you do not push to accomplish things that you never thought you could.
The man has a great point. People are always lamenting the fact that we aren't producing as many engineers and scientists as other countries. The simple fact is that people make decisions on their careers when they are young, and young people make decisions on who they want to be when they grow up by who their heroes are. People aren't amazed by the space program anymore. They aren't amazed by the still pictures from Mars.
Hollywood can do that. Shooting a camera strapped a RC car to another planet is not aspirational. It holds amazing scientific value, but it's not something that holds the attention of our youth. And our youth are the ones that will take our country, our society, forward. The amount of money that NASA has accomplished so much with is a pittance compared to the amounts that we pay in oil subsidies to countries that we wouldn't trust with our car keys.
Again, Neil says it far more eloquently than I could-"The amount of money that we spent in the recent bank bailouts is more than the operating budget for the entire history of NASA".
Just think about that for a minute. 50 years worth of sending people into space, worth of trickle down inventions like the microwave, velcro, GPS, aw, hell with it, just click here for the full list- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off .
The point is this-NASA creates jobs, makes our children wonder and aspire to greatness (and achieve it in High Tech fields instead of aspiring to keep up with the Kardashians), and also aids in our national defense by sharing technology at no additional expense.
But aside from all of that, when was the last time you looked at the stars and wondered what was out there? When was the last time you stood underneath the night sky and let it show you just how small we all are?
Humility is a declining trait in this country. So is wonder. Remember when they used to roll those TV carts into your classroom so that everyone could watch the space shuttle launch during science class? Most of my friends wanted to be astronauts when they grew up, and until they lost that sense of wonder they studied a little harder in Math and Science to try to make that happen. Not everyone gets to be an astronaut, but most of them that go a significant ways on that path end up working in a much higher paying field than they would have otherwise.
I demand that our leaders reach into their pockets and locate their balls. Putting Band-aids on problems as they arise will never get us back onto the track to prosperity. We need something that the country can get behind, and something that the country can allow the country to all look up and dare to dream again.
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