The Thought for the Day – Andrew Chaikin

Any society, if it is to flourish instead of merely survive, must strive to transcend its own limits. – Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon


Today is the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on something other than earth, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit.

We’ve always felt Apollo 11 was our finest hour and, honestly, we don’t think anything else comes close, though putting humans on Mars would equal it.

From birth to maturity, the Apollo program came at a difficult time for America. The nation – already soiling their pants because the Soviets were further along in the space program than were – was torn apart by deep racial divisions and the Vietnam War. A president and presidential candidate – both named Kennedy – and Martin Luther King, Jr, were all assassinated. The Mets won the World Series. By any measure, it was a tumultuous time.

Despite all this, we managed to send men to the moon and return them safely to earth and America has not attained heights like that since. Not even close. Our once-great country has taken a flier on its responsibility to itself and the rest of the world.

By any measure, America is not flourishing right now. Perpetually at war, mindlessly in debt, and mired by bitter, deep and numerous social divisions that might eventually make the 1960’s seem like something out of Mother Goose, we are merely marking time until we collapse, probably before this half-century is out.

Friends, America is not flourishing because America is not striving. We are not demanding anything out of our leaders so our leaders are not bothering to demand anything out of us. While the rest of the world still looks to us for leadership, we provide a partisan, fractured and bickering mess of a country.

Any society, if it is to flourish instead of merely survive, must strive to transcend its own limits

We transcended our collective limits during Apollo, starting from nothing to ultimately send twelve men to explore another celestial body. If America is going to be great again we must stop settling for the status quo, we must, both individually and collectively, strive to transcend our limits.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. All quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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