This I Believe

Alexander - Wayne, Illinois
Entered on October 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude
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Almost everyone dreams of flying. Its beauty and ability to spark the imagination has changed the way that man views the world. Flying can change a person’s life simply by showing a new perspective, and sometimes that alone can make the world a little bit of a better place. I believe in the importance of flight.

When people get the opportunity to fly a plane for the first time, or even just sit in the cockpit during a flight, I’ve often heard a strikingly similar response when they finally get back on the ground, “I never thought it would be like that.” They can never seem to describe exactly what they thought it would be like, nor what it was that was so different, but they come back smiling. They come back from a world where the wing of a plane acts like the finger on their hand, brushing and gently caressing each cloud they pass. They come back from a place that shows how small any one human really is, and how much of the world there is to explore. They come back from an experience that gives them the chance to fulfill that childlike dream of flying over the world; freely moving through an almost endless expanse of space.

It is these ideas that make flight so significant, and make me believe in its importance without question. Liberating experiences excite, challenge, and drive people to imagine. A good example of this is when a person gets his driver’s license for the first time. That night, he dreams about getting that perfect car, and contemplates all of the new things that can now be done and seen. Flight does the exact same thing. As something comes to liberate someone in a new way, the human mind is inexorably drawn towards optimism and hope. This is what the world needs, isn’t it?

Those who fly also get a unique perception on the beauty of the world. The first time that a person pops into and back out of a cloud is an experience that is never forgotten. In that instant, the world disappears and gets replaced by nothing but an intangible white. This white is lit by the sun is such a way that it’s almost as if the world is shining from a luminescence independent of anything else. It’s heaven; pure, clean, and beautiful. Seeing beauty in the world today is a gift that so few seem to appreciate, but those who do, like pilots, gain happiness from every second they have with it.

I’m not saying that just by getting people to fly, the world will wake up the next day with a proverbial smile on its face, but rather that every little bit of good in the world counts. Everybody should find something that excites them and makes them imagine, and if they’re looking for something new, maybe they should test drive a piece of the sky. It could show them something new.