Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bill Clinton and Neil Armstrong's moon rock

From former US president Bill Clinton's autobiography "My Life, Volume II: The Presidential Years":

On my last night (as president)* in the now barren Oval Office, I thought of the glass case I had kept on the coffee table between the two couches, just a few feet away. It contained a rock Neil Armstrong had taken off the moon in 1969. Whenever arguments in the Oval Office heated up beyond reason, I would interrupt and say, "You see that rock? It's 3.6 billion years old. We're all just passing through. Let's calm down and go back to work."
That moon rock gave me a whole different perspective on history and the proverbial "long run." Our job is to live as well and as long as we can, and to help others to do the same. What happens after that and how we are viewed by others is beyond our control. The river of time carries us all away. All we have is the moment."
Again, "All we have is the moment." ;)

*Insertion mine. 

(Here's a replica of Clinton's Oval Office, and of the moon rock in the glass display case, at the Clinton Presidential Center. Photo from David Wagoner's Wags Outside's blog post "Little Rock Oval Office.") 

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