This I Believe

Hans - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

It was love at first sight. She was hot, and, by the looks of it, she was also very bright. After weeks of searching, I finally found her stretched out before me on a warm summer night. She was much more appealing in real life than in the pictures I had seen. My heart thumped as I reached for my binoculars. “Milky Way Galaxy, you are beautiful!” I shouted to the sky.

I have been a passionate stargazer for the past three years. In the summers I am a machine; researching planets, constellations, galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters in the day, and then trying to track them down during the night. I must study everything about them – location, mass, color, luminosity – before I go outside to explore. When it comes to enjoyable stargazing, attention to detail is essential. Normally I have a hard time paying attention, but with stars it’s different, because they are so interesting.

But stars don’t just interest me; they make my heart pound; they take my breath away; they really turn me on. When I stargaze, I’m not just looking at stars; I’m absorbing all of the information that is attached to them. And this is where my body unconsciously reacts – when I know that these massive wonders are actually out there. Yep, these things are real: stars so big that they would envelop Jupiter in their flames if they were at the center of our solar system; stars that use as much energy in six seconds as our sun does in one year; star clusters that contain millions of stars; galaxies, black holes, quasars, they are all real. I’m getting shivers just writing these down.

Even though stargazing is exhilarating for me, talking about them with people is even better. I am always happy to have a discussion about stars. Always. Lecturing is especially enjoyable, and I’ve done it almost everywhere I’ve been; band camp, speech class, Relay for Life, Minnesota, Africa, even on bus rides. I’ve never found a place where I can’t talk about stars.

I believe in incessant passion; passion that is neither transient nor mimetic but pure and meaningful. I believe this can be found in almost anything, and that is what makes life so great. My life has become so much more enjoyable because of my constant search for the next constellation, planet, or astronomical fact. In this way, I always have something to look forward to. I always have something to think about; to talk about with someone. I believe passion, not knowledge, is power; for knowledge is more enjoyably welcomed when it is provided by passion. And I believe life should be enjoyable.