Jim Lovell is best known for being the Commander of the “successful failure” that was Apollo 13 (and for subsequently becoming a member of the “Tom Hanks played me in a movie” club). Apollo 13 was indeed an astounding feat, but ultimately, it wasn’t nearly as important as one of Jim's earlier missions, Apollo 8. And that’s because up until that time, though nearly two dozen people had been to space, no human had ever left earth’s orbit....
"Courage is the most important of all the virtues,
because it allows us to practice the others with integrity."
- Maya Angelou
Last week, my friend moved her 92-year-old mother into a seniors home. This was, as you can imagine, a huge moment for the entire family. The day after the move, my friend showed me a picture of her mother sitting on a sofa in her new room. Mom was wearing a red sweater and sat with a nice straight back, smiling gamely for the camera. She’s a pretty woman. But her most defining characteristic in that moment was the look of quiet determination on her face.
And I thought, what a lovely gift my friend’s mom has been given – the opportunity to be brave, even at this time in her life.
And she took it.
Somewhat traumatized by the move, my friend and her sister visited their m...