Sunday, November 4, 2012

StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and my personal intellectual renaissance

There's a potential future in which human beings in general, not just citizens clinging to outdated Nationalist ideals and their inherent bigotry, are not only scientifically literate and intentionally well-informed but also eager to expand their presence in the universe. Could we actually realize such a future? The optimist in me wants to say yes, we most certainly can and will. The pessimist in me wants to scoff at such a notion, writing it off as mere fancy, and rant about how we're being helplessly thrust into another long period of anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance.

We as a species are at an impressive point in our development, and the decisions of the majority will, as always, steer our course. Let's put aside the easy mindset of the pessimist and hope beyond hope that the movers in our world will drive us into an age of advancement in which everyone will be able to tap into their full potential and bring humanity into a tomorrow of promise and tremendous growth. Better yet, let's all grab the reins, become the movers, and take each other into that wondrous future world.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and host of the internet radio series StarTalk, is one person who's inspired me and bolstered my inner-optimist. He's one of the voices in the titanic world of the media who has drawn us an outline to a brighter future and fiercely demanded a shift towards progressive intellectualism. He's the man who is responsible for my recent return to the foundations of my education.

Listening to Dr. Tyson and StarTalk has reinvigorated the inquisitive, logical mind I often anxiously employed. There was a long period in which I allowed self-doubt and apathy to bar me from realizing my intellectual potential. I didn't feel support in my efforts to flex my smart, and I felt like there was no visible path towards becoming a fuller more intelligent person. To put it plainly, I felt lost and gave up.

Hearing the wonderful messages from the good doctor and allowing myself to ponder the points made on his radio talk show have shaken me out of my mental slumber. I once again feel like I can tackle anything, and I feel like my mind can grow and deserves to do so. I'm opening myself up to learning anything and everything I possibly can. I'm challenging myself in ways in which I should have been challenging myself every day of my life from the beginning to the current. My efforts are now wholly focused on revisiting the foggy points of my education and committing to learning the things I once wrote off as too challenging or simply beyond me. I feel not only hope and confidence; I also feel that the world is ready to share in my revelations.

The people of the world, no matter where they are or where they fall in any of the various stagnant, close-minded systems, deserve to feel my hope and also be allowed to make an effort to better themselves as people and as intellects. I truly feel that if we revolutionize the minds of all, the coming days will be the best we've ever had.

Let's take inspiration from people like Dr. Tyson and work to improve ourselves and the world in which we live. Let's strive for the best in everything. Don't lose hope in yourself or in your fellow human beings. The future is counting on us.

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