The National, Friday 7th September, 2012
THE moment Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, he said: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”
In 1991, I was a little kid in Grade 4 at Dustin Community School in Madang when I was introduced to astronomy by my teacher Jack Aibuk.
Out of curiosity, I took the book Discovering Science, where to my amazement, I found a colourful picture of a person in a spacesuit carrying the American flag and another of two astronauts floating in space, attached to a spaceship by a cord.
They were Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin.
After the mission, Armstrong was never comfortable with the fame; he shunned celebrity, stayed away from cameras and lived a simple life for reasons known only to him.
The European Commission president, Jose Manual Barroso, said that Armstrong had left “an eternal footprint in our memories”.
His own family praised him as a “reluctant American hero” and they hoped his legacy would encourage young people “to be willing to push
the limits and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves”.
I grew up asking so many questions if man really landed on the moon and what empowered them to do so as it was both amazing and unbelievable.
I later found the answer in Genesis 1:28-29, which says that God blessed human beings and said unto them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and every living thing that moved upon the earth”.
My advice to PNG students is that God has created you with hidden potentials and the abilities to have dominion over the earth, ocean and nature.
With determination, courage, confidence and boldness, you can become a lawyer, accountant, pilot, rocket scientist or any profession of your dreams.
Nothing is too complicated.
Aim high and leave behind a footprint that would not be erased so that your legacy would live on.
When you reach the peak of your
success, the best thing you can do is to live a simple life.
Armstrong left behind a footprint that would never be replaced.
The US, PNG and the rest of the world bid him farewell.