The Answer: Chris Hadfield
Quote of the Day:
“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction… Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.” Chris Hadfield, retired Canadian astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station
Song of the Day:
I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?), Chris Hadfield and Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies
Space, Social Media and One Very Cool Rock Star
One Man’s Mission Benefits All
Oftentimes people are called heroes in the context of war. Some make it through, while others lose their lives on behalf of their cause or their country. Chris Hadfield is a hero in a different way. His mission is not to defend any one land at the expense of another, rather it’s to promote the well-being of the entire world, this beautiful little planet that’s our home.
I have dedicated my website to promoting a greater level of friendship, “a bridge of understanding,” between China and the West. So why am I writing about Chris Hadfield? Because Chris has experienced a literally cosmic viewpoint, what he calls “a million-feet-away perspective”— the kind that helps us see our global neighbours as just that, neighbours, and they’re much like us.
“…when you see Earth from space, the borders disappear… you can see that people all around the planet live more or less the same way…You can look down on a city and think, hey, I know that place. But then you wait half an hour, and you’re on the other side of the world, looking at a place you’ve never even heard of and, wow, it looks exactly the same. So you make this link. You realize, ‘Those people are the same. They’re trying to solve the same problems the same way. They just have their own particular set of barriers and circumstances.’ So it affects your response, when you hear about some idiot doing something stupid that has a negative effect on it all. You have to accept it; there are good dogs and bad dogs in life. You just wish that people could get a little more of that million-feet-away perspective.” (Chris Hadfield, from a Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Maclean’s Magazine interview with Charlie Gillis.)
I can’t think of any other person alive or maybe even dead who’d be able to command the universal respect Chris Hadfield could. Why? Pardon the pun, but his credibility is sky high. It extends from the depths of the sea (where he did research on board a submarine) to the heights of a space station orbiting planet earth. As an astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, Chris brought to millions world-wide an entirely new and refreshing awareness of the Universe and our place in it. One of his main messages has been: “We have a fragile and beautiful world: love it and take care of it!”
How has Chris Hadfield been able inspire universal respect? Largely by means of audio-visual technology and social media, with the stress on the word social. Hooray for the internet! From the space station he regularly sent written, pictorial and sung messages to earth for posting via Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Youtube. He shared everyday life aboard a space station, photos from space and educational videos on gravity or the lack thereof. And now he can add to his long list of credentials: rock STAR (the very first) from space!
Here’s Chris Hadfield’s unprecedentedly appropriate rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Enjoy!
Space Oddity-Chris Hadfield video on board ISS with Larrivée Guitar
Chris Hadfield speaks from space to 820 public school students in Milton, Ontario
An Astronaut’s Guide to Movember, in support of men’s health:
Did anyone say anything about humor (a wee bit of the self-deprecating kind)?
Other Links You May Enjoy:
Chris Hadfield on The Value of Social Media: http://www.tested.com/science/space/459077-astronaut-chris-hadfield-value-social-media/
Interview with CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Q/ID/2414914380/
Article in Wired Magazine, “We Should Treat Earth as Kindly as We Treat Spacecraft”: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/chris-hadfield-wired/#slideid-305451
Chris Hadfield’s new book: http://chrishadfield.ca/
Book LAUNCH Video (pun is very much intended): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPw8C1fID80
Chris Hadfield’s Youtube Channel (with lots to enjoy!): http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGG8ucQgEJPeUPhJZ4M4jA
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little introduction to Col. Chris Hadfield. I am grateful for him, for you and for all the other good people in our world. May many blessings be yours.
Till next time,