7/20/69. Does that mean anything to you? Probably if you’re 50 or older you recognize these numbers immediately. If you are younger though, you may have no idea what they represent. Here’s the first clue, it is a date. Does that help? July 20th, 1969. What happened on that date? If you were alive then, you likely remember exactly what happened. It is probably much like yesterday’s date (Sept 11th) a date that you remember where you were on that day. On July 20, 1969 something truly incredible happened, we landed on the moon.
Today I think it’s hard for us to truly appreciate what that day really meant., especially if you were born after about 1975. Why? Because for those in generation X and beyond, we’ve grown up amidst the technology revolution. We’ve seen technology grow and improve at exponential rates. We’re grown accustomed to seeing new advances so often we lose track. It seems like there’s a new iPhone out every few months.
But in July 1969, things were different. On July 20th every family in America and beyond gathered around the radio, or the new television they may have purchased expressly for that day, and they heard Neil Armstrong utter his famous phrase: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
What was so significant about that day that it still captures the imagination some 40+ years later? I don’t think it’s about the progress of the space program. I don’t think it’s even about exploring new horizons. I think, at it’s core, the lunar landing is so iconic because it is the quintessential image of POSSIBILITY. How can you not look at the lunar landing and think, if we can do this… what can’t we do. In fact, to this day, you’ll hear people say, “we can land a man on the moon but we can’t…” to express frustration that some simple thing wasn’t done properly.
No I should make a small admission here. The title of this post is perhaps a slight bit misleading. I don’t actually believe that absolutely anything is possible. It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not totally accurate. The honest truth is not everything is possible. As far as I know, people can’t fly, you will never be able to live without oxygen, and pigs will never fly. I feel pretty confident in those declarations. Some things are just impossible. But MOST things are not. Far more is possible than most of us believe.
I challenge you today to look at what you have decided is “impossible” for you. What have you decided, on a conscious or subconscious level, is impossible for you? Share with us below. Let us disagree with you, and give you the encouragement to prove yourself wrong!