10:35 AM, from the sandhills of Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills along the Outerbanks of North Carolina, two bicycle building brothers from Dayton, Ohio took on one of the greatest challenges known since the dawn of time, and lifted themselves into the air like the birds.
It was only twelve seconds.
Twelve seconds is not a lengthy amount of time; however, these twelve seconds were the beginning of a magnificent journey in which the world would be changed forever.
Here in Dayton, Ohio, the city that proudly boasts claim to these two geniuses, December 17th is only eclipsed by Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Until time distanced itself from the event, Pearl Harbor Day overshadowed this date.
We’ve walked on the moon.
We’ve celebrated with other nations on the International Space Station.
We’ve landed equipment on Mars.
And while it seems like we’ve only scratched the surface, it’s important to recognize just how far we traveled from the world’s first flight on December 17, 1903, to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon on July 20, 1969.
It took thousands of years to loosen the bonds to earth and only sixty-five years to champion a moonwalk.
We should never lose sight of our individual abilities to soar. I like to remind myself that neither of the brothers Wright attended college. Their sister, Katharine, in an age where women were still fairly obscure on college campuses, graduated from Oberlin College and eventually became a trustee of the college. But of her two brothers, whose legendary names are still well known one hundred fourteen years after their first flight, only Orville graduated high school. The Wright family returned to Dayton from Indiana during Wilbur’s senior year and the transitional credits were lost.
Are any of us different from the Wright brothers?
I think each of us is born with a spark of creation that holds certain abilities if we choose to use them. I marvel at our current day heroes who sprint past the finish lines of barriers to success. Wilbur and Orville both battled confidence issues in one form or another. Orville’s crippling shyness probably detained him from pursuing even greater adventures in the aviation field. Wilbur battled several emotional demons but once he grabbed hold of that inner fire, he stepped up to the threshold that would change his life, and the world’s future, forever.
We are like the Wright Brothers: we the choices to soar or the choices to remain bound to the insecurities that paralyze our intended journeys.
Be like the Wright Brothers. Make your own twelve seconds count and Soar.
And always make it a great day!