Let us leave our orbit of 2013, with all its struggles and its joys and memories, and let us fully enter a new moment, setting our sights on further stars, charting the course for our highest selves and contributions. Should we wish to change, let us be bold once again.
Yes, let us be brave and find our moon, chasing a vision so big and unimaginable that the mere thought of it brings sweat to our palms, stuns our heart with anxiety, yet never fails to lift our soul with purpose. Under no circumstances shall we settle on challenges that fail to inspire; let them be so real and meaningful to us that we rise each day and pursue them with full intensity until we have victory or we die.
Let us be more disciplined and true, each day taking action, testing things out, failing, getting up again, failing again, learning, rising and rising and rising ever more. This is the stuff of commitment and character, the demands of real contribution.
Let us have vision now to break the boundaries of all that we have ever known, lift above our own competencies and insecurities, take flight fueled only by courage and love, soar high in our service to the world.
Let us remember and draw inspiration from the words of a man who, in 1962, urged us to do the same:
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money ... Space expenditures will soon rise some more ... for we have given this program a high national priority -- even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.
But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, reentering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun -- almost as hot as it is here today -- and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out -- then we must be bold.
Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, 'Because it is there.'
Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked."
-- President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962
This post originally appeared here.