Friday, 31 August 2012

The Final Frontier

I don't really have heroes.  I respect a few individuals, but am often aware that their successes and failures are bound up together in a real human being.  Heroes should be above the normal human failings of vanity, hubris, self centredness, ruthlessness that often accompany the doing of "heroic" tasks.

The nearest I got would probably the recently deceased Neil Armstrong. 
A man who's name is famous around the world, and will probably live on for centuries, but who was almost invisible.  His attitude was that he was a man doing a job - not a hero.  That is heroic, in my book.

Without his achievement, which he pointed out he shared with 400 000 other people who worked on the Apollo programme, I would never have been a Phyicist.  Or spent my life considering a question asked to the 8 year old me by a primary school teacher - is it right to spend so much money (4.4% of USA GDP at the time) on going to the moon when people are starving around the world?

A brave and balanced man (as far as I know).  A role model at least.