How we almost missed the moon

Can you for a moment imagine how much mockery was endured by the person who first desired to go the moon?

Who knows who that person was?

Perhaps they lived at a time when people still thought the world was flat – and theirs was the voice crazy enough to desire such a (then) obscene notion.

The thing about most extraordinary ideas is that, often, they are way ahead of their time. Which is what makes them revolutionary. It’s why they change the world.

Now, going to the moon really isn’t that big a deal. People, albeit a very small group, now go there – on a regular basis.

Imagine how silly the idea of a toothpick was before it came into being.

Remember the folks who said the internet would never take off and there would “always be a market for newspapers”?

I love the world we live in now. Simply because never has there ever been a time when the sky really is only the beginning of what’s possible.

We live in an age where information and opportunities are abundant. With just a few taps on our computers we can find stuff out that once upon a time cost tons of time and sometimes tons of money.

In this time of abundance the challenge is for us (particularly as caregivers) to impart the value of uniqueness and encourage the notion that crazy ideas must be the norm.

Every which way I turn I’m coming across so much information that yells “CHANGE! the way you think and do!”.

I’m inundated with warnings against opening my child to the very structures and institutions that broke me.

Today my husband and I spoke (again) of how much we hated school.

I remember how one year I broke out in horrible sores due to the dread of school.

Had I listened to what I was told to believe of myself in school – I would probably be an utter failure now.

In one of my school essays I remember a remark from one of my English teachers that read: “Hannah! A deer in Africa?!” I can’t remember what the essay was about only that in it I’d mentioned a deer and yes the setting was Africa.

I remember being so carried away by the beauty of my own writing and how distraught I was that none of that beauty had been acknowledged. To this day – almost twenty years later all I can remember of that incident was being scolded for not getting the animal “right” in my story.

There is more and more information warning us of how much mainstream school damages children.

In school I was labeled an average student. Despite the fact that I had always loved writing, my teachers didn’t think I had any talent as a writer. They told me so in the way they graded me and the remarks with which they tore my work (and me) to pieces.

Sometimes though the “breaking” doesn’t just happen in school. It happens at home. Or on the job. Or in an unhealthy relationship.

I love writing. Usually my grammar is wrong – I start with words one should never begin a sentence with and I don’t have much of a “style”. But here’s what I know for sure – I am a good writer. Not because anyone says so but simply because I enjoy my own writing.

I think about writing more than I think of anything else. So much of what I do stems from my love of writing. And to me that’s all that matters.

I don’t write to be graded or to “reach” anyone or even to tell a story. I write because writing allows me to express the deepest parts of me. It exposes me like no other work I’ve ever done can. It allows me to speak to my inner soul and self-heal. It’s how I find meaning and purpose. It’s how I gauge the things I’ve learned, how I mark my progress in this life and how I document the experiences that wow, break and define me.

What I end up sharing beyond the audience of Me is merely a by-product of the journey writing allows me.

Had I believed in what they said of me in school I would have let go of this very important and delicate part of me. And I would have lost.

You don’t have to believe the neglect and dismissal with which you were met when you tried to express your inner self. That thing that makes you tick is first a gift to you and then (if you choose) to the world. In that order. You have to enjoy and appreciate it even in solitude – even when the only audience is you.

How much you enjoy it will bubble over and you won’t be able to help yourself from sharing it. The more you share it the more your own desire to get better and bigger at it will grow. And the cycle continues.

I suspect that some people don’t create extraordinary things because they live the lies they were told.

My hope is that more of us would debunk the utter rubbish that was spoken over our lives. And I hope we would save our kids from being bullied into believing that ideas as outrageous as going to the moon are silly.

P.S. Many thanks to Mrs Anne Levitz. She was my English language lecturer in college. She thought I was a gem from the very first piece I wrote and read in her class. She nurtured what she believed to be talent in me throughout my time with her.

And thanks Raj for sending me Ken’s video.

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