A few years ago Eugene (Gene) Cernan was in Buffalo, NY for a presentation. For those who don’t know, he was the spacecraft commander of Apollo 17 1972 from December 6 to December 19 and was the last man to walk on the moon. I was listening to the local NPR station and the host asked Mr. Cernan this question:
Do you reflect on that every time you go into the night and look up at the moon and think “I was the last man to walk there”?
Mr Cernan responded in this way:
No, hardly ever, unless when someone like you asks me. I’m one of those people who don’t live in the past. I’ve got to live for the future. I tell these kids the future’s made out of dreams. I’ve still got some dreams. I’ve got a dream I want to live another 10 or 12 years and watch my grandkids grow up. I’m still flying airplanes. What I’ve done, I’ve done. I live with it. I hope my grandkids are proud of it some day, but I can’t go around with a sign around my neck saying, “Hey World, I went to the moon!” I don’t live that way. I live for what happens today and what I’m going to help make happen tomorrow. That’s what it’s all about.
Obviously we do need to remember the past (it is one of the key messages in the Book of Mormon), but I like his message of looking forward. “What am I going to help make happen tomorrow?” A very nice thought!