This I Believe

Raj - Sugar Land, Texas
Entered on January 7, 2009

I believe exploring the universe in its cosmic expanse transcends god, science, religion and humanity in one way or the other. It is humbling, exciting, educational and spiritual, challenging us to push the limits on all fronts of human endeavor and understanding.

I came to Houston in search of a job 18 years ago. Like many I struggled early in my humble beginnings here, got married, and had two daughters as I took interest in the city and finer things in life around me as time passed by. I always loved astronomy though it wasn’t my area of expertise. Sometimes I wonder if I found my roots in Houston because of my deep sense of appreciation and a reverence for NASA, its mission and people. I am proud to be in the only city called out from the surface of the moon “Tranquility base, Houston, the eagle has landed”.

This liking for space started in my teens with Flash Gordon comics, watching Star Trek and reading Asimov, Sagan and Stephen Hawking, instilling in me a profound sense of wonder. Not to forget Einstein’s master stroke on relativity that continues to baffle me. What captivated me earlier transformed into a fascination for NASA’s Apollo and the Space shuttle missions; I believe these men and women are true heroes to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Over the years I visited the Space Center, Houston many times learning about the challenges in space exploration. I choke every time watching the shuttle accident in IMAX as the audio stalls momentarily overwhelming me with grief and a deep sense of loss. I believe the courage and sacrifice of those astronauts is no less than the greatest. But the show must go on as always, I gather my composure to watch President Kennedy’s stirring speech at Rice University “we shall not be deterred, we will go to the Moon and do the other thing.” Back to the world, I realize we battle jobs, chores, problems, crimes, and wars that divide while the heavens call us to unite and unearth its secrets. I believe this call cannot be ignored because that’s our destiny, mankind’s destiny.

I believe we are truly lonely in the vastness of space. The Earth is all we have, a delicate beautiful planet, in a subtle balance, colorful and bustling with life in a hostile and unfriendly universe. Yet it cradles humans with incredible potential and future.

I believe we are one family, a ‘collective intelligence’ to overcome, to work together and space is the final frontier for mankind’s inner quest for peace and happiness. From the knowledge of the past and our insatiable urge to discover the unknown, I believe we could even outlive our Sun in times ahead.

The human body has limitations but the human spirit is indomitable. This is god’s will that we progress on this path and we will, and this I believe!