When You Wish Upon A Star

Many years ago my mother said that people who wish upon a star have to – this from the woman who used to feel good about having silver coins in her pocket when she saw a new moon. She meant, of course, wishing is for people having few options but the idea that we do things because we have to, comes to me now as something each and every one of us has experience of and a few of us – or maybe many of us- spend our entire lifetimes doing things only because we have to.

I met a painter many years ago who had had to train as an architect because his parents forced him to.  I have seen people marry to please their parents, and I have witnessed family-standing in the community mean more than affection or honour. I find it hard to comprehend as someone who has always done as he wished. I sometimes think human beings are so much about appearances they cannot see how ugly it makes them, when you look at them with a  different set of assumptions to their own.

This isn’t why different nations dislike each other that’s a whole other set of ignorant behaviours but it is the root of who we are – we force our own assumptions upon others to establish not our dominance but how ‘right’ we are.

Anyone can convince you you are right they merely have to say ‘I agree’, the person who disagrees with you is your best friend.

The Stars And Me

It was one of the immense ideas of science and the phrase of Carl Sagan’s that rang down the TV and will ring down the centuries, that we are made of star dust. The stars are a vast resource of knowledge and wonder to our wonder-seduced brains. I was never one to have learned all the constellations or even to know all the names of all the galaxies, I was an adult before I even bought a pair of binoculars to look at the moon. Because of that perhaps I have more than admiration for Galileo and those men and women who watched, looked, counted and charted.

But I do think about the stars, not so much in Star Trek terms, but certainly as destinations. I don’t know what engines we will create to visit or what we will take with us, but out there is the future of the human race as we  know this earth will crash into the sun one day. Who knows they may have a digital copy of my weblog with them.

And I don’t worry about what we may or may not meet out there, and what it will say to us because exploration isn’t like that. You climb a mountain because it is there and we will go into the stars because we must.

We are one and the same after all.

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