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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Star Gazing

With autumn comes shorter days and instead of lamenting over the lack of sunlight, I find myself mesmerized by the skies. We've had many cloudless nights here in coastal North Carolina and it's been the perfect time for star gazing.

I've heard many times over the past two years that our lives are moving faster and faster; the technological advances are stunning, so swift that the past 20 years have outdistanced almost any time in any history.

Are we experiencing a new Renaissance?

I think of my father who was born in 1930. The Wright Brothers had flown their first "flying machines" less than 30 years earlier. But Pan American was just getting started with the first airline that would eventually fly around the world.

My grandfather, when faced with a seemingly impossible situation, used to say, "You can no more do that than fly a man to the moon."

Yet in 1969 that is precisely what we did.

Today we not only have equipment on Mars but it sends us photographs. When you consider how our ancestors got mail less than fifty years ago, it is an astonishing feat.

Yet today's youngest generations seem to take technology and science for granted.

How can we know what we've accomplished if we don't see how far we've come?

The next time you're tempted to star gaze, consider the fact that there are thousands of aircraft in the skies at any given time; that we've positioned satellites around our earth's atmosphere, capable of seeing virtually every spot on earth; that placing a man on the moon is commonplace; and new universes are being found that could rattle our beliefs in the years to come.