Reach for the Stars, etc.


Talking philosophy or something with a friend (science might not be accurate)

Me: You know what saying I have a problem with? I’m sure there are a lot of them, but this one makes my brain go, “I just don’t think that’s accurate or a good idea.”:

“Reach for the moon; even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

I mean, technically you won’t. If you miss the moon, chances are good you’ll still be much closer to the moon than the stars, UNLESS you overshoot the moon. But even then the only star you’ll be near is the sun, and that’s probably not a good idea anyway, what with the heat and the fiery gasses.

In fact, being among the stars is probably a bad idea in general, outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, at least. I suppose, technically, no matter what, you are between the stars, which could be considered “among” the stars. But you would be there whether you reached for the moon or not. And reach with what? Is there technology involved here?

I mean, if NASA worked with that lack of concern for accuracy, they would be laughed out of the space race. Reach with my arm? If I could reach that far, I’d probably go for something cooler than the moon, but if my arm didn’t reach the moon, I’d still be right where I started and no closer (or farther away) from the stars than I was in the beginning. And an arm that long would come with its own set of problems. Reach by jumping? So I jump up toward the moon, then pretty much immediately come back down to earth – no nearer to the stars or the moon than I was initially.

My point is, the saying is not well thought out.

My friend: I very much like this train of thought and very much agree with it. At least Casey Kasem said, “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” Granted, you’ll never grasp a star with your feet on the ground, but you’ll never grasp a star anyway because, more than likely, the stars we see are already dead since the speed of light is pretty slow in astronomical terms.

Me: Ooh! That’s an excellent point!

Maybe then the saying should be, “Jump as high as you can, using some sort of propulsion system and proper safety equipment to try to reach the moon. Even if you miss, you will not exactly land, but sort of float, among the light that comes from long-dead stars which might be enjoyable for as long as your oxygen lasts.”

My friend:

This quote deeply inspires me. I’m going to embroider it on a pillow.