Continuing my science theme, I have been reading No Dream Is Too High by Buzz Aldrin. It’s not exactly a book about science, nor is it strictly an autobiography. Rather, it’s one man’s recipe for life, peppered with anecdotes from 87 years of living.
Everyone knows Buzz Aldrin as the second man to set foot on the moon but he has done much more besides during his already long life. No Dream Is Too High is divided into 13 chapters, each with advice for the reader who dreams of reaching for the sky. I think all of them are good advice and would like to share them with you:
- The sky is not the limit; there are footprints on the Moon.
- Keep your mind open to possibilities: quote – ‘We don’t do things that way – great, let’s try something new!’
- Show me your friends and I will show you the future.
- Second comes right after first: quote – ‘It’s OK to be second as long as you do the absolute best you can.’
- Write your own epitaph.
- Maintain your spirit of adventure.
- Failure is always an option: quote – ‘Failure …. is a sign that you are alive and growing.’
- Practise respect for all people.
- Do what you believe is right even when others choose otherwise.
- Trust your gut … and your instruments.
- Laugh … a lot!
- Keep a young mind-set at every age: quote – ‘I hear people complaining about growing older. Why would I want to do that? After all, think of the other options.’
- Help others go beyond where you have gone.
No Dream Is Too High is not great literature [and I don’t think it’s meant to be]. The narrative jumps around a lot in time and space (as it were). However, it is an interesting read. Buzz talks about his service in the Korean War, his experiences as an astronaut and the down side of being famous. The book is full of little gems of information like (1) Aldrin’s mother’s name was Marion Moon; (2) He was the first person to take a ‘selfie’ in space; (3) His ‘giant step for mankind’ – more of a jump really – was very nearly his last; (4) President Nixon wrote a second speech – an eulogy for the three moon astronauts, just in case they didn’t make it.
No Dream Is Too High is written in collaboration with Ken Abraham, a non-fiction writer who specialises in co-authoring with high profile public figures.