Afternoon astronaut wisdom

You have to really kind of think about our own existence here in the universe. You realize that people often say, ‘I hope to go to heaven when I die.’ In reality, if you think about it, you go to heaven when you’re born. You arrive on a planet that has the proper mass, has the gravity to contain water and an atmosphere, which are the very essentials for life. And you arrive on this planet that’s orbiting a star just at the right distance — not too far to be too cold, or too close to be too hot — and just at the right distance to absorb that star’s energy and then, with that energy, cause life to evolve here in the first place. In reality, you know, God has really given us a stage, just looking at where we were around the moon, a stage on which we perform. And how that play turns out is up to us, I guess.

Jim Lovell, Business Insider, March 2017

“We, no less than other, non-rational animals, are destined to die at the end of our lives. And death strikes indiscriminately – it cares not at all for the status or position of the ones it chooses; everyone must die, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown. Even good deeds will not exclude their doers from the sentence of death; the good die as often as the bad. It is perhaps this inevitable and unpredictable quality that makes death so frightening to many people. Especially those who put a high value on being in control of their own existence are offended by the thought that they too are subject to the forces of death.”

I never thought of myself as the controlling type—a control freak, we call them, those people who need everything to be just as they want, each detail imagined and designed to suit their individual needs, those people who lash out in anger when even the smallest thing deviates from expectation. Nor had I thought of the control freak as someone in pain, afraid; they always seem only mean, self-absorbed, and cruel.  Continue reading