When contemplating the future from the present, it is difficult to imagine what lies ahead, despite the fact that we all plan ahead. From recent memory, I recall that finding a way to understand what our purpose is can actually help in this regard.
I attended the World Science Festival again this year, and as always, it was a great opportunity to understand how rapidly things are changing, both technologically, and also scientifically, in the grand scheme of things.
One of the standout sessions was on the final day of the festival, when I attended a talk given by Andy Thomas, the first Australian astronaut to go into space. His many journeys to the International Space Station, as well as his love for space exploration, captivated the audience, and me included. It was amazing to see personally recorded videos and images from his time in space, as well as his spellbinding accounts of life as an astronaut.
As a space explorer, he was able to also look forward to the day when space exploration can become a viable alternative for many Australians, including young pioneering students who could one day lead the way forward in space travel. In partnership with the newly formed Australian Space Agency, young people will soon have the opportunity to see for themselves the many paths ahead in space exploration from a local Australian perspective.
For many, this could also be an opportunity for aspiring astronauts to become involved in space exploration at an earlier stage in their careers, as Australia continues to be on the cutting edge of research and technology moving forward. Former astronauts such as Andy are continuing to inspire many Australians to consider becoming an astronaut as a real career opportunity, especially as scientific advances continue.
Looking back on my one fascination when it comes to astronomy and science, I often wonder what could have been if I had pursued my interest in this area, especially in education. However, hindsight can often serve as a good ‘reality check’, as I probably would not have had the wherewithal to continue down the road of higher education, especially in a field as complicated as aeronautics!
However, having listened to Andy’s aeronautical achievements, I have gained a keener understanding and appreciation for curiosity, especially when it comes to matters dealing with the future as we know it.
Do we really understand how far humanity has come? Or will continue to go? Perhaps when it may end? These questions plague even the most brilliant minds; yet the thirst for that sense of accomplishment may never be quenched.
It may be that we all share a similar interest in wanting to understand what the future holds; but the uncertainty of life keeps us from going beyond our own limits. Yet there are few who find a way to look beyond the hurdles, and press forward in a sense of anticipation and wonder in the pursuit of accomplishing something that matters most.
By God’s grace, may we all dare to accomplish.
Joseph Kolapudi is a TCK born in Australia to Indian parents, and returned from California where he was studying theology at Fuller; currently, he is working with a missions agency, continuing his love of writing by contributing to PSI.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html