Today, we have arrived at “that moment in time”. That moment foretold so many years ago. 40 years ago, the world heard that they would look back, to this day, and remember that their generation had truly captured the human spirit of exploration. That they had taken one giant leap for mankind and propelled us forward to a new age, a new time. An undiscovered country. We can only hope that as that generation turns their heads to see their present surroundings, they are not disappointed by their achievements and the world they will leave behind for me and my generation.
Humanity has traveled a great distance since the beginning of time, whether you measure the distance from Adam and Eve, or the evolution of the first homo-sapiens. Our species has encountered great horrors and great joy.
We have survived crusades for God and we have reached for the stars.
We have enjoyed peace and freedom, and we have struggled with war and tyranny.
When we think to ourselves, “What have we truly accomplished? What more must we do?” We find our world requires much tending and our path unclear. We find promises we dared to think had been lost to time. We find questions still unanswered. We find friends still struggling, hopeful for help. And near the end we realize, perhaps there is one more thing we can do. We hope to make our world a better place. And so in a last hurrah we all make one final effort to do more and to be better.
But in what direction do we head now? Do we venture to Mars? Should we clean the oceans and the air? Will we bring fundamental change to our governments? Do we overthrow radical dictators? Do we cure AID’s and Cancer? Or do we create something completely new, something immeasurable against all time?
For 40 years humanity has had to question what the next great leap of mankind is. Where will our leaders take us next? A question unanswered. We are a great people without a unified cause.
We seek only to preserve and endure, struggling to firm our grasp, to keep hold of what he have. But to what end?
I’m not asking what the meaning of life is. I’m asking what I need to do.
In times of war we band together in industry, to sacrifice our comforts, and we raise ourselves up to fight. When we wish to land on the moon, we sit in class and listen intently to the words of our teachers, and read thoughtfully the words in our books.
But what must I do now? What is my goal? Do I rise and fall each day only to rise and fall tomorrow? Yesterday is the past and so we must forgive but not forget. Tomorrow is the future so we cannot yet change it. But today is the present, so we should cherish it. I feel I have too long cherished my present.
Our future is now. No longer can we look to the horizon and see the storm coming. The storm is upon us. And now we must work to change our future. It is the future that we now suffer and we must do more than react to it’s demands.
So to what end I ask you. To what end should I rise? What is the next leap for mankind?