by Rick Tumlinson
“I have been asked how I can so easily cross party lines during this election time, when it comes to supporting or chastising politicians based on their actions regarding the opening of space. Why do I care about opening the space frontier more than any other issue? How can I support this one who is doing this, or attack that one who is doing that? How can I even deal with that guy who is doing so much harm, and why do I attack that woman who has done so much good for other issues? So many reasons, so important to many, but I and the members of my cause have work to do.
Because in the grand sweep of space and time, little matters or will be seen through the eyes of those to come as having mattered beside what we do right now, in this time, not just to save this precious planet but to expand its life to worlds now dead. Because this one cause encompasses all causes worth being causes. Be it freedom, resources, the economy, the environment, opportunity, hope, or another cause, there is no other single cultural and societal action that can and will do more to transform our lives, our civilization, and the course of life itself than this one thing. Period.
And I do it because when I turn off the pundits and puny little power players, power down the iPad and iPod and portable civilization modules that surround us with our own voices and visions, and step out into the darkness of the quiet night, below the full moon, and just stand there in a field of green grass and trees and all the sounds of all the creatures around me, and look at the infinity of stars, I realize just how small it all is, all that noise and sound and fury, and how grand it can be, if we can but quiet listening to those voices and find the ones inside us- how grand we can be, why we are here, really, and how much responsibility we have been given as the stewards of life.
Life: It wants to live. From the microbes in the soil below me to the grass at my feet to the crickets and birds to whatever life might be out there in that unlimited sky looking back at me out of the night overhead to our little girl in the making in her mother's womb, we share in something beautiful, powerful, and important. And simple. Life comes forth for no other reason than to be and make more life. It will fight and crawl and do anything in its power to live, and once alive it will stand against all to remain alive. Its existence is its own argument. Life is passion, celebration in the face of chaos, light in the face of darkness, hope in the face of despair, and joy, for the universe without life feels nothing, is nothing, and does nothing except slowly die.
Life: To live, to touch, see, feel, experience, and be.
And while there are so many ways in this universe and world that life can be extinguished, there is but one way that life can leave this one world and spread its glorious being out there, and that is through us. So I and a few others who share this vision have chosen to take a stand that this is important. Out of all the billions of us in this world, each with his or her own priorities, dreams, fears, fights, passions, and pettiness, out of all the arguments and battles and wars and campaigns and crowded cluttering of the mind and spirit with sound and fury and righteousness and wrong, out of all these possible things and things to do and fight for, I- we- have chosen life itself. And not just the preservation of life, for that is important, too, even if to many of us it seems a bit of a defensive play when we would rather take the offensive. I want to capture and express that passion I see in life all around me to go wild, to push into anywhere we can, and make of those places new domains for life. Like the little patches of grass you see trying to poke up through the asphalt of an interstate, or that lone tree rising out of condemned ruins, we want to harness that determination and say, "Yes, we are alive, and we are coming! And it will be epic!"
In a thousand years we won't care which politician went negative on which other; this news cycle will just be a nanoscopic footnote at the bottom of an infinitely large digital box in a tiny corner of a mega storage unit orbiting a human colony light years away. Perhaps some tiny thing I and these others might have done today will have made a difference, so that that colony of life can be out there, and not just one, and not just human but more and greater and all carrying the seeds of life...
Perhaps by stepping out of the normal game others play in the sandbox of today, we can create a new tomorrow. Perhaps what we did by taking this stand among all the others changed a vote on a science budget to a "yes," showed a skeptical media machine a new way of looking at the stars, helped a new built rocket touch the sky, inspired a kid somewhere to change their career so they can fly, or to stay in school, or convinced someone to simply think a little differently about her place in the world and the hope that lies ahead for her, and gave our world permission to dream.
And ever so gently, we will perhaps have helped push this crazy silly life form we call humanity and the life of this beautiful and precious world upwards and outwards... so that it can live.”