The meaning of flight

When I was a kid, the US built the Space Shuttles and we started flying in and out of orbit like we belonged there. At the time, I thought we were wasting a lot of energy going places it would never be too interesting to be. To me, it looked like there was plenty of stuff here on Earth that needed attending to first. I was probably right.

As the decades followed, I watched while we attended to far less than I had hoped for. In the sky we built a Space Station and on Earth, a bunch of poorly functioning toys and a great big physical mess. Mostly, we decided to stop doing things as a country and started acting like we all better just take care of ourselves; we each better grab whatever we can and hold onto it.

I got to be proud of the US and our Space Shuttles. They blew up and we kept going. They fell out of the sky and we kept going. It makes me sad, now, while we’re running away from the future, clutching our meaningless bank accounts, that we’re not going to fly those Shuttles anymore. I wish we could still, at least, pretend like we’re going somewhere.

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