Join Donate

Share Your Story • Matthew Mitchell • April 6, 2016

It's never to late to be amazed

Most of my life I've prided myself on being open minded, willing to hear both sides of the story and come to my own conclusions. I've loved science and the unexpected results deriving from experiments since I was a kid. The problem was, I never really did anything about it. I walked through school knowing there was a great big universe out there and being content with media fed news explaining to me the scientific breakthroughs the purists dedicated their lives to. I spent 8 years in junior college specializing in nothing before finally becoming a firefighter; even that didn't last. It all changed when I had my two children.

It happened quickly and unexpectedly, the metaphorical light bulb flipped when I was trying to explain the stars to my oldest (4yr boy). I knew almost nothing about our universe! How can I answer his questions, and more importantly his follow up questions? Here he is innocently pondering the night sky and I'm floundering around trying to answer as broadly as I can without filling his head with nonsense.

This was about 2 years ago, when our very own solar system reached out and thumped me on the head. Wrapping my head around the vastness and enormity of our universe not only boggled my mind but spewed forth endless questions and wonderments that will never cease to amaze. From that day forth I've spent the majority of my free time watching any space related TV program I could find. When those were exhausted I began reading articles, blogs, web sites, and "A Brief History of Time" by Steven Hawking. The more I read the more I needed. It was an insatiable appetite for more. More answers, more images, more updates, and most importantly more questions! I recently found a podcast by everyone's favorite astrophysicist, Dr. Tyson, and didn't stop until those too were depleted.

Now, I'm no scientist. I'm deplorable at all things math and 90% of the proven theories related to the cosmo's skate right over my head. My solution? I read it again, then again, then watch a video demonstration, then again until finally I've grasped the concept. You see, until now I have never had such a deep appreciation for those of you out there that have been fighting the good fight all this time. The ones asking the questions and taking it upon themselves to find the answers. The men and women out there that have dedicated their lives to looking up and asking "why?".

It's heart breaking to come to the realization that so many of us on our humble planet can be completely content with what is right here on the surface when there is so much more that we know nothing about. We all wander about the Earth like ants in an ant farm never looking out of the glass to the endless possibilities that lie in wait...I just joined the Discovery Team because though I am not educated or capable of furthering the fields of the cosmo's I am fortunate enough to provide some funding. I just hope my meager monthly contribution can do some good.

To Dr. Tyson and Bill Nye I want to say thank you. Thank you for helping me open my eyes, thank you for bringing the stars closer to home. My children will now experience the wonder and excitement of the night sky through me, because of you. You have removed the curtain, and boy have I ever felt so small. I'm excited about what's to come and I look forward to a more fulfilled life in my continued education. Just...Thank you.

Comments & Sharing
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


You are here: