I know I am not alone in this dream. I know you probably feel it too. We are obsessed with the stars. We dream about what mysteries may be revealed when we reach beyond our planet. Will we find life or just see more of the emptiness of outer space?
Is Earth all there is?
This theme that resonates with most of us. But it’s not just about exploring black holes, distant galaxies, and other planets. I think it comes back to something much smaller and much more personal. We look out because we need a different perspective on what is inside us.
Human ventures into space give us a hope that maybe this grand adventure will be the one thing that will bring us together. Success will be the final event that will bury the many tragic elements of our nature. If we could just reach the Moon or Mars we could just start over and not deal with the mess we have to face on earth.
I still want to be an astronaut, but today I don’t think looking up to the heavens will make that dream come true. Recently I was in Israel shooting a documentary about Jerusalem. I wanted to learn first-hand what it was like for Muslims, Christians and Jews to live side by side in a place they all call home, but has for thousands of years been the focus of conflict. As an American, the world I live in has given me lots of reasons to be nervous about Muslims. Despite my desires to make a genuine connection with them I found myself rather quickly wanting to keep the Muslims I met at arms length. Riding in a taxi into the west bank I was faced with a different story of a man about my age struggling to make a living as a taxi driver while living the other side of a physical and political wall that kept his story away from people like you and me. The hours of conversation that followed began to put cracks in the walls I had built around me letting in the air on this strange planet I was on. Eventually, I realized that I could step outside of my self-imposed space suit and breath normally.
I had discovered a new world without ever leaving earth.
Author: Andy Yardy