Home
Loading
  Contact Us    
It's Been A Long Road

Tragedies on the Journey to the Future.


by Jonathan Wilson
February 1, 2003

Bookmark and Share


It's Been A Long Road_Jonathan Wilson-Tragedies on the Journey to the Future. Five men and two women, representing the aspirations of three nations and most of the civilized world, have perished today while taking the risks that the future requires. Pondering the tragedy, I recall the opening words to the theme of Star Trek: Enterprise, "It's been a long road getting from there to here..."

The long road has perils as well. When seven astronauts die, adding to the list of fatalities that stretch back to 1986 and 1968, we might ponder the meaning and purpose of it all. We wonder why God allows mechanical failures. We wonder if the journey to near space is worth the money and the risk to life.

Pessimists in my generation--the GenX post-moderns who are now grown-up and working and teaching at universities, talk about the "myth of progress." Have these technologies and space travel really made life better?

The answer is, of course, that life is better and progress is not a myth in the nations that have moved forward. Those who would want to trade the median American lifestyle for the lifestyle of 1850, with sky-high infant mortality and average life-expectancy around 45, are crazy.

It is complacency regarding this lifestyle that causes the crisis of meaning and leads to the conclusion that progress is a myth and a failure. People who are saturated with materialism tend to be nihilists: It was as true in ancient Rome as it is today. The problem with complacency and nihilism is that it leads to risk aversion.

We forget that necessity is the mother of invention; that genius is 90% perspiration; that suffering is the catalyst to change. Those who have everything and see reality only in the terms of being born with an entitlement to comfort, are the ones who conclude that risk and progress are meaningless.

Despite these pessimists, there are people ready and willing to take the risks that progress into the future require. The tragedy today cuts deep, because we value the heroes who move us forward and realize that when they perish, they die for all of us.

However, their deaths are not meaningless nor in vain. People will continue to work to improve processes and technologies which will have the effect of making these tragedies in space even more rare than they already are.

It's a long road, and dangerous. It is also meaningful, even necessary, that we follow this road where risk is embraced and heroes are both celebrated and mourned.

Thank you, NASA. Keep it up. My great-great-grandchildren are depending on you.

(0 Comments)
Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*


Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Location:


Comments:*
Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.



Verification:
Please type the letters you see above.

  Printer-Friendly

Bookmark and Share


EMAIL ALERTS
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
It's Been A Long Road
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Jonathan Wilson
Hitler in Rehab
It is time for the quest of Hitler sympathizers to be demolished.
by Jonathan Wilson, 3/3/09
A Mystic Reads Rand, Part V
Celebrating success without guilt.
by Jonathan Wilson, 8/20/05
A Mystic Reads Rand, Part IV
Excuses and Excellence
by Jonathan Wilson, 8/6/05
A Mystic Reads Rand, Part III
Theism, Consciousness, and Objectivism
by Jonathan Wilson, 7/23/05
A Mystic Reads Rand, Part II
I. The Premises of Objectivism: Atheism and Consciousness
by Jonathan Wilson, 7/9/05
50 Years After Atlas Shrugged: A Mystic Reads Rand
Introducing a religious Libertarian's response to the creed of a Libertarian Atheist
by Jonathan Wilson, 6/11/05
Lunch Club for Men
To become a positive influence takes time and friendship.
by Jonathan Wilson, 12/6/04
» Complete List (43)


Recently Published
View Article Salvator Mundi
Not the painting but the Person
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/7/17
When the Newsman Becomes News
Lamenting yet another fallen hero
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/1/17
Let's Hear It for Moms and Pops
Celebrating Small Business Saturday in a very personal way
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/22/17
An Earthquake in La La Land
Examining what's been exposed in the rubble
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/17/17
Where is God?
Reflecting on the tragedy in a little Texas town
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/10/17
An All Saints Day Tribute
Remembering those who left us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/3/17
A Mighty Fortress was His God
Remembering the legacy of Martin Luther 500 years later
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/27/17

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.


RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2017 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top