The improvement of our way of life is more important than the spreading of it. If we make it satisfactory enough, it will spread automatically. If we do not, no strength of arms can permanently oppose it.
Topics: Self-improvement, Progress
It’s too dangerous a journey to risk the cat’s life.
It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you’ve wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane.
If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.
What kind of man would live where there is no daring?. I don’t believe in taking foolish chances but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all.
Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values…. God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.
Life is a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter.
The life of an aviator seemed to me ideal. It involved skill. It brought adventure. It made use of the latest developments of science. Mechanical engineers were fettered to factories and drafting boards while pilots have the freedom of wind with the expanse of sky. There were times in an aeroplane when it seemed I had escaped mortality to look down on earth like a God.
We are in the grip of a scientific materialism, caught in a vicious cycle where our security today seems to depend on regimentation and weapons which will ruin us tomorrow.
Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. There was science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the color of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot was surrounded by beauty of earth and sky. He brushed treetops with the birds, leapt valleys and rivers, explored the cloud canyons he had gazed at as a child. Adventure lay in each puff of wind.
I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of the earth to which they were bound. In flying, I tasted a wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days? I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.
Living in dreams of yesterday, we find ourselves still dreaming of impossible future conquests.
Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.
I watched him strap on his harness and helmet, climb into the cockpit and, minutes later, a black dot falls off the wing two thousand feet above our field. At almost the same instant, a white streak behind him flowered out into the delicate wavering muslin of a parachute—a few gossamer yards grasping onto air and suspending below them, with invisible threads, a human life, and man who by stitches, cloth, and cord, had made himself a god of the sky for those immortal moments.
Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most!
I believe the risks I take are justified by the sheer love of the life I lead.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Richard Evelyn Byrd American Aviator
- Amelia Earhart American Aviator
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh American Author, Aviator
- Edmund Hillary New Zealander Explorer, Humanitarian
- James Cook English Explorer, Cartographer
- Beryl Markham English-African Aviator
- Eddie Rickenbacker American Aviator
- Chuck Yeager American Aviator
- Douglas MacArthur American Military Leader
- Robert S. Johnson American Military Leader