Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book #22: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

Scene One

I am at a conference - an action camp, actually - focused on achieving functional zero when it comes to chronic homelessness (the same people experiencing multiple episodes) in our community by the end of 2016. The second morning, we are asked to include the name of a song that represents us as we introduce ourselves.

"Dream On" by Aerosmith, I say.

Scene Two

An hour or two later, we go over the post-it notes we wrote on in a brainstorming activity. For the third time in less than 24 hours, I hear someone say, "Yeah, that will never happen."

I rankle. "We need to stop saying 'never.' We're meant to be opening up possibilities, new ways of approaching our challenge!"

Scene Three

At lunch time I pull out the book I have to start for book club a few days later. I read about author Chris Hadfield seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon when he was nine. It sparked his dream. "I knew, with absolute clarity, that I wanted to be an astronaut."

But then he wrote, "I also knew, as did every kid in Canada, that it was impossible. Astronauts were American. NASA only accepted applicants from U.S. citizens, and Canada didn't even have a space agency."

He went on to become an astronaut.

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