by Jim Cathcart
About an hour ago I was sitting at my desk when I felt something crash into our house. Paula called out, “Jim are you OK?” I looked outside to discover our neighbors standing in the street excitedly looking skyward. Paula joined me and we rushed out to see what it was.
My neighbor Ron announced, “It was a sonic boom. The Space Shuttle just re-entered the atmosphere and it’s headed for a landing in the desert.”
I ran to get our binoculars and the four of us stood in awe as the Shuttle and its chase plane flew over our home. It was still glowing red from the heat of re-entry.
Quite a sight to see.
Many years ago I had a penthouse office in a 13-story building in Tulsa, Oklahoma and one day I looked out the window as a huge 747 flew by at my eye-level with the Space Shuttle attached to its top. What a sight! It was less than two miles away from me and was being ferried by piggy-back to the maintenance facilities in Tulsa. Wow! Who could imagine putting a huge Shuttle on the back of an already huge airplane?
Well, that’s really the question isn’t it?
Who could imagine?
The entire concept of space flight, or just flight for that matter, started in someone’s imagination.
Everything we experience from zip lock bags to magnetic resonance imaging began in someone’s imagination. Then an important thing happened…someone decided to make the idea into a reality.
That’s when things started to change. When the idea gained the power of a person’s commitment to make it happen.
I’m awed by the amount of intellectual work and physical work required to create and operate the Space Shuttle. Not sure I can even concieve of how much energy and thought that required. But I sure do appreciate it. The discoveries that have sprung from our exploration of space are profound and legion. Most people don’t realize the value we are getting from these missions, but believe me they will be paying off for generations to come.
Every day you and I have ideas for making things better. We say, “Why don’t they just do xxxxx?” Often we see solutions that others do not. I say it is time for us to stop just having thoughts and start communicating them where they can make a difference.
So, the next time you see a solution, stop to ask yourself, “Who is involved with things like this? How could I communicate this idea to them? (Without worrying about being paid for it or getting credit.)”
Through the unselfish sharing of valuable insights you just may open some doors for yourself and others to make this world a much better place.
We have no shortage of ideas. We simply don’t communicate them well enough.
Let me know when I can help you help others make a difference.