I can’t stop thinking about this quote ever since I read it in a Business Insider article a few days ago. If you’ve spent any time on this website, you know that I’m not just obsessed with world travel, I’m also enthralled with the idea of space travel. This particular quote from Jim Lovell caught my attention because of my deep interest in the unknown, our origin story, what happens when we die, and how it’s all related.
So who’s this Jim Lovell guy and why should you care? Well, for starters he’s one of only 24 people to have flown to the moon, the first of only three people to fly to the moon twice, and the first person to fly in space four times. His first moon visit was in command of Apollo 8, the mission that entered lunar orbit. And his second visit was during the famous Apollo 13 mission, where the ship had critical failure in route to the Moon but was brought back safely to earth by Jim and his crew. He’s a retired caption in the US Navy and a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. So as you can see from this brief history, he’s got a perspective of the world that not many people have. And that’s worth listening to.
Jim talks about coming home from his Apollo 8 mission in the article:
“You have to remember we brought back a picture of the Earth as it is 240,000 miles away. And the fact is, it gives you a different perspective of the Earth when you see it as three-dimensional between the sun and the moon, and you begin to realize how small and how significant the body is,” he said. “When I put my thumb up to the window I could completely hide it, and then I realized that behind my thumb that I’m hiding this Earth, and there are about 6 billion people that are all striving to live there.”
He goes on to talk about the unlikelihood of us being here in the first place:
“You arrive on a planet that has the proper mass, has the gravity to contain water and an atmosphere, which are the very essentials for life,” he said. “And you arrive on this planet that’s orbiting a star just at the right distance — not too far to be too cold, or too close to be too hot — and just at the right distance to absorb that star’s energy and then, with that energy, cause life to evolve here in the first place.”
And then brings it all home with something that really gets you thinking:
“You have to really kind of think about our own existence here in the universe. You realize that people often say, ‘I hope to go to heaven when I die,'” he said. “In reality, if you think about it, you go to heaven when you’re born.”
So while you’re here, why not take some time out of your life to travel through heaven?