The Moon, Aggression and a Confession

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

If I was alive during that time, I would have been sitting on my living room floor two feet away from the T.V. clutching a bowl of uneaten popcorn and not blinking. If I was alive during that time, my imagination would have been going wild making up stories about what would happen next - aliens? Is Armstrong going to come face-to-face with an aliens? If I was alive during that time, I would have been exhausted trying to forecast what humankind would do after this; we just landed on the moon, goddammit, what now?

A lot of successful people like to wrap that moment up in their origin story. It must have been something else; to feel like the proverbial ceiling for achievement had lifted. Not only did a country build a space program but they did so in the span of 15 years and then were able to put a man on the moon.

“I remember the day that because that was made possible, in our minds, everything else was made possible as well.” - Neil DeGrasse Tyson

I’ve been thinking and reading a lot lately about aggression. I don’t particularly seek it out, however, a lot of biographies about famous tech entrepreneurs seem to fixate on their personalities. It’s a very common story to hear that many people feel like some entrepreneurs take things a little too far. Of course, there are always others like Richard Branson and Tony Robbins but this post isn’t about them.

In some ways, I can see how looking at them and demonizing their personalities would be really easy to do. Certainly, if they were female, it would be almost culturally mandatory. However, there is an ever-growing part of me that forgives all of their behaviour in exchange for the possibility that they might reach their goal. No empire was ever built by asking politely.

I think about what it must be like to watch the moon landing, be raised during that time, dedicate your life to one goal and then become frustrated by those around you who don’t feel the same way. Why wouldn’t you want to be on the moon? revolutionalize solar energy? change the way we build cars? build a store that sells everything? provide internet access to the world?

While I have not dedicated my entire life to one purpose (yet?), when I have my mind set on something, I don’t always (or ever) consider other people’s feelings. I can’t help but feel a sense of urgency when working on a big problem. Occasionally this manifests in terrible ways and I pay the price in social status, even moreso given that I’m a woman. I’m still working through whether I should change this, or if I even care to.

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