Yesterday I watched William Shatner go into space. I couldn’t help but wonder what Gene Roddenberry would think if he were alive to see it. Everybody knows that William Shatner played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. It was surreal to watch as the man who portrays the character had an opportunity for a very brief window of time to have his play-acting come to life and see reality versus fantasy. When we all think of the options that space provides, very few of us have the opportunity to do what these men and women do in orbit. And as they go up, they see the world differently as they come back down. Several have mentioned that they recognize how fragile life truly is and why the Earth needs to be protected as they re-entered its atmosphere. They are a testament to watching history unfold before our eyes.
In the last few years, our history has become more available for people to see and study. Technology has made things more accessible as well as more inclusive. So many people have cell phones and access to the Internet, social media, and other media outlets. Watching history unfold has become something of the norm rather than a luxury. When I was a kid, I remember being in the 9th grade and watching as the space shuttle challenger blew up with Christa McCullough on board. Because Ron McNair was an A&T alum, The North Carolina news stations blew up with coverage. And in the area that I live in, Ron McNair was memorialized with so many different tributes. The five other astronauts that perished had accolades all over the world, along with Ron and Christa. They knew the risks of exploring space and sacrificed their lives to bring awareness to the public. Their deaths taught us many lessons in the world of aeronautics. They weren’t the first to die on a space mission, but Christa was a teacher, and the students she left behind never forgot her legacy.
Regardless of the history you may be into, it’s easier today to see current events happen before our eyes which eventually become part of history. When I think of race relations, looting, murders, violent attacks, and other unthinkable events that could have happened, It always amazes me how what we’re seeing becomes a part of the history books. Can you imagine what our forefathers could have done with the information had they had the tools of technology available at their fingertips? I may not understand all the events around me, but I’m astute enough to realize that everyday history happens in some shape, form, or fashion. History is fragile, just like we are. But until the world is no more, history will be a part of who we are as a society.
You don’t have to be a space buff to have history made. History occurs in every facet of our lives. The best part of history is learning from it and trying not to repeat past mistakes. When society uses cancel culture to create a record of their choice and not off of facts, we start learning selective portions of history, which can be dangerous.
As you watch history unfold, I hope that you can take a moment to embrace what you see. It’s not always good history, but sometimes it’s incredible. Sometimes we see when people exceed what we thought was humanly possible, and other times we find ourselves going back to the drawing board. Every day has the potential to bring something incredible to our stories. Let’s do everything we can to keep those stories going in positive directions. Have a great day, everyone.