“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
– Neil Armstrong
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 settled on to the surface of the moon. At 10:56 pm (EDT), with more than half a billion people watching on television, Armstrong planted his foot to the planet, and proclaimed that famous testament to the achievement of mankind.
44 years have passed since that night. In those 44 years:
* World population has nearly doubled (From 3.6 Billion in 1969 people to 7.1 billion in 2013).
* We have fought 149 Major Wars (between 1969 – 2011).
* Resources like food are squandered and inefficiently distributed: one-third of the humans on earth are starving. Every 3.6 seconds someone in the world dies of starvation.
* Since 1970, 30-50% of nearly every glacier on earth has melted.
* The BBC reported that nearly one-third of the species on Earth in 1970 have become extinct.
I guess I assumed that the Giant Leap mankind Armstrong spoke of would take us somewhere better. Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell – the 6th man to walk on the moon – had a more practical revelation about the experience of seeing Earth from the Moon:
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ”
All of mankind could use a hearty dose of “Calm the Fuck Down”.
What do you think will be the next Giant Leap for mankind? Will it be forward or backward? Will it happen in your lifetime?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.