When you’re aiming for the moon…

Beresheet may have crashed, but for a moment we raised our eyes to the heavens.

The headline of the Times of Israel article  (first in links below) couldn’t help but grab my attention. I wondered what the article would say about ‘raising our eyes to the heavens’ and began to read.

I was so glad I did. Quite frankly, I was blown away.  Five big life lessons jumped out at me, lessons that if applied consistently and wholeheartedly, have the power to change a life, a community, even the world.

#1. Look beyond. – There is so much more to life than our own little existence and circumstances. In fact, there are infinite possibilities if we look for them.  When LunarX held a contest to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon (with a twenty million dollar prize for success), Israel seized the vision.  Though SpaceIl’s efforts were unsuccessful, and the project closed in 2018, the scientists kept working.

#2. Aim for the moon. – Dreaming and imagination is limitless, and it’s included in the package deal of being a human being. Why not go for it? The dream took root in 2010, when three friends dreamed of making Israel the fourth country to have a space craft land on the moon. As the flag in the widely published photos of the Beresheet craft nearing landing proclaims: Small country, big dreams. Why not?

#3. Invest in your dreams. – If we want to see dreams come true, then our ideas require action, and action requires means. Put your money where your mouth is. It took over 100 million dollars to finance the TeamSpace IL dream.

#4. Expect the unexpected. –  Life happens and it can be messy sometimes. We can’t always prevent the upsets, but we can learn from them and work better. The Beresheet space craft landed on the moon, but certainly not in the gentle fashion the team had planned.

#5. Failure means you tried. – As the saying goes: It is better to have tried and failed, than to have failed to try.  Journalist Melanie Lidman concluded that perhaps the greatest lesson of all was that the space endeavour united millions of people around the world in a collective dream to reach the moon. Although they failed within 150 meters of the moon’s surface, Buzz Aldrin (1969 US Apollo astronaut) tweeted the TeamSpace IL team, saying: ‘Your hard work, team work and innovation are inspiring to all – never lose hope‘. Indeed!

Five huge life lessons from an apparent disaster. I had just learned about constructive journalism this week, and so it was amazing to come across a piece that so effectively explained and exemplified how an apparent failure can be reframed into a powerful and uplifting life lesson.

Instead of taking a victim mindset and describing at great lengths the heartbreaking failure, disappointment, and loss of so much work and so many millions of dollars, the journalist focused on the lessons learned and left the readers feeling hopeful, not devastated.

Recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try again. We’ll try again, and next time we’ll just try it more gently.’

Optimism  – and humour – to boot!

It got me thinking: which is more important in the pursuit of dreams: the process or the final product?    

What do you think? I’d love to hear your ideas on this in the Comments.

Sweet dreams!

– Claire  :o)

 

LINKS: https://www.timesofisrael.com/beresheet-may-have-crashed-but-for-a-moment-we-raised-our-eyes-to-the-heavens; https://www.timesofisrael.com/buzz-aldrin-to-inspiring-beresheet-team-after-moon-crash-never-lose-hope/; https://nationalpost.com/news/world/israel-lands-on-the-moon-but-not-in-the-way-we-wanted-to-as-spacecraft-crashes-in-history-making-journey.
[Photo: Shutterstock/Ruslan Ivanslov]

Wishes, hopes and regrets (or: where’s the magic?)

This week, we were up to the unit on conditionals, and I noticed the caption Wish and Hope in the class activity book.

My imagination went wild immediately; although, be honest:  isn’t the topic of wishes and hopes enough to make any introverted, creative individual diverge into an ecstatic reverie?

Wishes… hopes… palm trees swaying in the breeze… idyllic moments in the hammock… refreshing breezes blowing off a turquoise Caribbean Sea…

Oops! Back to Quebec City, minus 20 degrees and icy snow blowing outside. Reality check!

“Oh well, we’ll have an interesting discussion together anyhow!”, I mused, and diverted my attention back to the class about to begin.

The Conversation Muse was favourable, and the students immediately got into the mood and started answering the questions that were written on the whiteboard: What do you wish? What do you hope?

But what’s the difference?”, one asked, stumped, after misusing the word wish.

Wish and Hope: Non-Identical Twins

We began brainstorming on the subtle difference between the two.

Wish – a desire or ‘blessing’, generally less likely to be fulfilled (e.g. I wish you a Merry Christmas! I wish I were a millionaire.)

Hope – a desire for the future, more likely, feasible. (e.g. I hope we get a lot of snow this winter. I hope to travel the world one day.)

This led us to talk about past events, in which wish can also express a regret.

Regrets, the shattered shards of shiny wishes and hopes that somehow weren’t fulfilled.

Ah regrets! Now there was an interesting topic to get into with a group of adults!

I wish I hadn’t had the accident.”, contributed a student who had experienced a collision that Monday.

Another student refused to admit what she wished. It was just too personal nature to share. We all laughed, totally understanding her reticence.

Who doesn’t have regrets?”, we commiserated together.

Regrets, the shattered shards of shiny wishes and hopes that somehow weren’t fulfilled.

The promise of When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true, broken.

Life is not like in Disney!”, a student concluded with a guffaw, albeit, a sad guffaw.

So, where’s the magic? 

The magic was operating. As each class member shared a regret, the sympathetic listeners began asking questions and encouraging comments, as though to somehow restore the sharer’s hope.

Why didn’t you do it? Why didn’t it work out? Is it really too late?

And ain’t that the truth?!

It has been said: As long as there is life, there is hope.

And there is. There is always today. Makes me wonder:

  • What do you wish?
  • What do you hope?
  • What are your regrets?

I like the following quote by Michael J. Fox:

Image result for there's always failure. There's always loss.

So, that leaves one last question to ponder:

  • What can you do today to start moving towards the fulfillment of a wish or hope?

Drop me a line in the Comments section! I’d love to hear from you.

– Claire :o)