I remember those thrilling, Twilight Zone years from another time when men orbited the earth and vividly dreamed of walking on the moon. Long ago and far away, in a distant land known as Cape Canaveral, science fiction blossomed into reality. Robert Heinlein's characters of the 40's and 50's now mysteriously walked out of his black and white pages and entered our black and white television sets. Words became flesh. Those Heinleinesk men wore awesome uniforms that appeared as if some innovative genius wrapped them in aluminum foil. Then came the helmet. Oh those space helmets. Every kid demanded a tired old Santa deliver one on Christmas Day. "By the way Mr. Clause, make sure your elves attach bunches of hoses to my helmet. I don't want to die from lack of oxygen while riding that Mercury capsule around the globe," I exclaimed.
Enter the greatest of all these Mercury men, John Glenn. "John who," we so intensely asked. John Glenn; man of steal; able to defeat even kryptonite. Boy did I want to grow up and emulate John Glenn. He could do anything. Beak intercontinental flight speeds, single handedly destroy the Japanese empire, fly planes that got shot up so bad, landing them seemed humanly impossible.
But, little did I know the scope of Glenn's influence. He incarnated the word leadership. We Boomers will miss him deeply. His kind only come around once in a generation. So, instead of my usual leadership inspiration today I will let one of the greatest speak for himself:
I'm not interested in my legacy. I made up a word: 'live-acy.' I'm more interested in living.
Fear connotes something that interferes with what you're doing.
It has been my observation that the happiest of people, the vibrant doers of the world, are almost always those who are using - who are putting into play, calling upon, depending upon-the greatest number of their God-given talents and capabilities.
Old folks have dreams and ambitions too, like everybody else. Don't sit on a couch someplace.
We're not up there in space just to joyride around. We're up there to do things that are of value to everybody right here on Earth.
I pray every day and think everybody should.
I hope listening to the man himself, inspires you on to greatness.
RIP John Glenn