What inspires you? What vision makes you stop and think — think about who you are, what you are and where you are in your life. Do you make a difference? Are you a successful person? How do you define success? Are you happy? Do you know what really makes you happy?
On June 5, 2012 parts of the world were treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity — to witness the transit of venus on its trip across the sun. The transit was visible somewhat from where I live, but there were a lot of clouds, unusual for a Colorado afternoon, and I live in the foothills, so the sun goes behind the mountain before it sets. The transit was barely visible for a short time.
My son and I made elaborate procedures to observe this ritual. We got out the telescope and were ready to photograph. Both of us being who we are, observed caution not to look at the sun. It seemed brighter than usual that day. The best views came from the various Internet feeds from NASA and Wired Science. I watched patiently on and off for hours as the small black dot known as Venus slowly crossed the hot ball of fire we call the sun. The pictures in this post were taken at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California by my daughter on an iPhone. To me they were much more awesome than the bright, hazy image that I saw.
When I looked at these pictures, the world stopped for a minute. I became intensely aware of the brief time on earth that I will have and the smallness of my life compared to the infinity of time. What does that reality bring? A quick check of what am I doing? Does my life have meaning? Do I make a difference as an even tinier speck going through time?
My conclusions, not fully yet reached, tell me what is important. Make a difference, even if small, every day. For me that means various things and some of it is relevant to the discussions on this blog. I speak up for children who I want to have the best opportunity. I speak up for children who I think can make a difference in the world. I speak up for children who will discover the infinite and unknown possibilities in the world through education. I speak up.
Life does fly by. The best way to deal with that is to be happy with your path and definitely to enjoy the ride, however bumpy. Moments such as the Transit of Venus are awe-inspiring. We can realize the humbleness of man and his journey on earth. We can understand there is much more to our world, civilization and humanity than having the latest thing or eating at the trendiest place. We need to discover and explore. We need to think beyond our immediate existence for the future. Most of all, we need to ignite the fire in our children to embark on discovery. They should know and realize the awesomeness of that moment on June 5, 2012.