Monday, December 05, 2016

The First Person

We've not heard much about explorers in our day because it seems as if everything worth exploring has already been, well, explored. Have you ever wondered what it must be like, to be an explorer? I'm not talking about the months or years on board ships or crossing vast open plains or crossing mountains. I mean, have you ever wondered what it must have been like to be the first person to see, for the very first time, something that nobody else has ever seen? Been somewhere never visited by another human being?

A few weeks back while watching the latest Tarzan movie with my family, I remembered my frequent visits to my grandparents in East Texas. I spent months of hours playing on the small acreages of my grandparent's house. My aunts could probably attest that there was never a danger of me getting lost somewhere in the Big Thicket (though I heard many-a warning from my grandmother) because of that Tarzan yell. I ran around the yard and woods in my pith helmet and with my friends, Buzz and Terry, conquered the jungles of Africa, playing "Tarzan."  Memaw always knew where I was because of our Tarzan yells. We played "adventure." We played "explorer."

Of course if Johnny Weissmuller happened to be on TV that Saturday afternoon, Memaw would call us and we came running inside to watch Tarzan defend Africa. And Shirley Temple. I'd come in for Shirley Temple.

I grew up, like most of us, during the Space Race. When we lifted off this Tiny Blue Dot and
rocketed ourselves toward the stars. I hold high respect for what remains of NASA and our astronauts because they are the last of the explorers. There's not much left to discover without leaving the planet--or is there?

There is much to explore and if we've lost the sense of exploration, lost the sense of wonder, it's our fault. We think everything worth finding has been discovered. I disagree. We need to change our thinking, because there is much to be in awe all around us.

Nobody has seen the sunrise or the sunset you saw this evening. And if you didn't see it--ask yourself why you didn't.

Nobody has seen the sky from where you live--nobody lives there but you.

I challenge you--be the first person. Get excited about the world in which you live, the people around you because nobody has the same experiences as you. You are an explorer. Look to the horizon--something great is "over there." Go find it.

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