Read more about Chosen Traumas and Chosen Glories

The Man on the Moon

by Khandker Shabnan Habib

What are glories to me? They are the accomplishments that influence, inspire, and encourage the people around them. Often, they even inspire the person who achieved glory to work harder in the future.One example of a glorious achievement often discussed in the US to educate people about space exploration and achievement in general is the story of the first man to walk on the Moon in 1969, Neil Armstrong. His act sparked hope for the future and inspired others to accomplish more.

While there are many types of glories and accomplishments, the events that people choose to hold onto and repeat and relive time and again most often have positive impacts. They are inspirational and a source of hope for the future. Landing a man on the Moon led to many improvements in space exploration. Then, even more people went to the moon like Eugene Cernan and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt on December 11th of 1972. This led to further exploration with the launching of new technology such as the NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. While it is possible that glories can have the negative effect of making people feel overwhelmed after realizing that their own successes are no match to those of others, by claiming accomplishments as our own, we are able to share in the glory. Although only Neil Armstrong himself walked on the moon, many Americans still take pride in that achievement.

With his accomplishment, space exploration boomed because one man’s accomplishment motivated many others. These developments included launching spacecraft and getting other humans into space. Clearly, America reacted to the Neil Armstrong’s achievement as a reason to continue and make room for more amazing breakthroughs. America remembers this achievement as a representation of our country’s success and it was used to prove that space exploration was worth doing.

In general, accomplishments are good. However, in some cases people may become overwhelmed, or feel that the accomplishments occur at a rate too fast for them to keep up with. Any great performance leads to competition. Personally, I have this type of feeling any time I cannot perform up to a certain standard, especially when other people are able to meet that standard before me. Basically, as I try to achieve great things, it is overwhelming to find that others may still perform better than me. However, I try to take things positively. If I think of the people who achieve great things as teammates, peers and friends, I am able to accept the accomplishments, and even take some share in the glory.

Commentary by Bernice Arricale

The important thing to remember about shared glories is that they are shared, so kudos to Khandker for finding a way to accept positively the achievements of his peers while still using them to spur his own actions.

Speaking of shared glories, was Neil Armstrong responsible for the truly glorious achievement of landing on the moon? Can any of us take complete credit for even our more mundane victories? What can “sharing the glory”look like in a home, a classroom, a community?

For all his glory, Neil Armstrong remained one of the most modest people who ever walked on earth, possibly because he understood that the “giant leap” he made in 1969, belonged not to him but to humanity.