What does Woodstock and the first man on the moon have in common? They both are celebrating their 40th anniversary this month. Amazing not only that it has been 40 years but that those totally different events happened in the same summer.
I remember both vividly. I watched the moon landing being televised on my 18th birthday. And I was part of the crowd at Woodstock.
At the time – to me – Woodstock didn’t seem like a historical event but the moon landing did. A few months ago I visited NASA and the control room where the best and the brightest facilitated that historic event. It was humbling. But what really hit home was how basic the room was in terms of technology. Rotary dial phones and just a handful of buttons on the consoles. I instantly remembered a moment on TV when they showed NASA technicians feverishly using their slide rules. My daughter doesn’t even know what a slide rule is.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come in 40 years. I suppose to some 40 years may seem like a long time – but to me it sure went fast. Most likely I won’t be around in another 40 years and I can’t help but wonder what changes technology will bring to our lives.
But underneath the technology is the human spirit and the drive of pursuit. Let’s hope that we humans use technology wisely.