It is easy to feel jaded in this day and age. Easy, and understandable.
Our politicians often engage in antics befitting toddlers, with their ranting and fighting and name-calling. Our celebrities shock the senses on a routine basis, many times for the sake of simply getting their names more prominently in the public eye. Our athletes are seemingly doing their level best to live up to Charles Barkley’s famous “I am not a role model” pronouncement. Many in the media have forsaken the principles of journalism, in favor becoming the frequently screaming mouthpieces of the interests that pay them the most.
That is why it was so refreshing to stumble upon Sunday’s live coverage of the now-famous “Space Jump.”At long last, there was something truly inspirational on television.
In case you missed it, the Space Jump was an attempt by “Fearless” Felix Baumgartner to jump out of a space capsule and into the history books, etching his name alongside those of Lindbergh, Yeager and Armstrong.
Hoisted 24 miles above the ground, into a realm at the edge of space devoid of atmosphere, Baumgartner did the unthinkable. He jumped.
And then, aided by twin miracles of modern technology and human spirit, he somehow glided safely back to earth.
Along the way, Baumgartner broke the sound barrier, along with several records. And his accomplishment will provide mankind with much more than the simple thrill of a daredevil’s stunt. For one thing, we now have ironclad proof that an astronaut or even a space tourist has options for returning home safely, even in the event of catastrophic failure.
But the emotional significance of Baumgartner’s accomplishment is perhaps the most important. We are certain that hearts around the globe swelled with pride upon witnessing his fists thrust into the air in victorious celebration, following his safe return. It is a given that more than a few eyes shed tears of joy, seeing his beaming face grin from behind his helmet.
The human animal, it turns out, still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
In an age desperately needing inspiration, Baumgartner provided the genuine article.
— The Floyd County Times