Saturday, October 4, 2014

Apollo 13

An inspiring story there.  The reason I bring it up is that I want to get at something that may be a part of what's going wrong.

When things went wrong up there, the first thing they said was :  "Houston, we have a problem."  Yes, indeed, they had a problem.  A very big, big problem.  A life-threatening problem.  If that problem doesn't get solved, they don't live through it.  It was a survival situation in space.

What happens when you have a problem?  Is the reaction like this:  "Oh my God!, I've got a problem!  What can I do?  I think I'll just go crawl into a hole and die."  No, of course not.  More than likely, you decide real quick if you can handle it, and if you cannot, you seek someone to help you with it.  Going into a corner, crawling into a fetal position, and beginning to suck your thumb is just not going to be sufficient.  But that seems to be what a lot people do these days.

It may be what somebody does when nobody is around to help.  The situation may be novel, like Apollo 13, and there's just nobody there to help you.  All those guys had were their radios and what they had available in their crippled space ship, plus the people on the ground who can help them make the most of what they had.  They had no other choice.  There's no 9-1-1 to call out there.  You suck it up and get it done yourself, or you just die.

The most inspiring part of that story to me, which was dramatized in the movie by Ron Howard, is when they improvised a solution of how to fit a square peg into a round hole.  They had to make that work or they weren't going to make it.  Basically, they made it work by creating something out of nothing and putting it all together to adapt two pieces that weren't designed to fit together.  If the plan to make that device could not be communicated, or could not be improvised, they would have died.  Everything they did to make this work is just amazing and inspirational at the same time.  By all rights, these guys should be dead.  But they made it back because they solved the problem instead of letting the problem beat them.

Too many of us are letting our problems get the best of us.  We are like the Apollo 13 astronauts.  We have to make do with what we have.  We have to make what we have work.  Sometimes there's just no other choice.  The thing to do is to work the problem until you can't work it anymore.  At the end of everything, you either make it or you don't.  But you'll never make it if you give up.  I think that's what's happening.  People decide that a problem is just too big and they give up.  When you do that, you might as well be committing suicide.

Is that what we all wish for ourselves?  Just die and get it over with?

I'm going to hang with the problem until it beats me or I beat it.  What about you?  As far as I'm concerned, I'm on Apollo 13.  Houston, we have a solution.  ( dammit )

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