In response to SpaceX’s BFR and Yusaku Maezawa:

A couple years ago I asked close friends and family what they find to be the single most important issue/opportunity in the entire world. Responses included hate, inequality, animal cruelty, and terrorism; all valid and true. When asked in return what I believe, I said space exploration and discovery of our place in the universe. But do I get to go to the moon? No, the artists do. *sad face*

We are all artists. But I don’t believe that painters, fashion designers, dancers, or musicians are more influential and inspiring than say, scientists, medical professionals, and technological advancers. Elon Musk calls artists “key influencers”, and while that may be true for many peoples’ lives, here’s why I don’t think they should be among the first passengers to fly around the moon.

Wouldn’t artist who already inspire be the least worthy of going, because they already are inspiring? They already are super talented, so wouldn’t it make more sense to bring boring folks who have much more room to advance their creativity? Yusaku should take the 8 least inspiring people in the world. That would make more of a difference.

Plus, art is such an individual experience:

A rabbi could give a speech on the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur (upon which we are about to embark) resulting in the entire congregation crying; yet I’ll look around the room, trying not to laugh, wondering what is wrong with these people (or what is wrong with me for feeling nothing).

One dude looks at modern art and is inspired; another looks at the same piece of art and doesn’t care, doesn’t understand, or both. I like abstract art that’s colorful, bright, contrasting, complex and intricate – like life itself. Someone else could look at that as chaotic and overwhelming.

Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic bring me to tears, while others could fall asleep from boredom.

Sometimes I wear a scarf as a skirt, does that make me a fashionista at heart? Maybe that inspires someone who sees it, and maybe the rest of the world thinks it’s horrific.

Read me a few lines of Shakespeare’s finest work and all I’ll think of is how badly I want to play dress-up and make up ridiculous words; but give me tens of books by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Timothy Ferris (not the motivational speaker), Sean Carroll.. and I’ll be totally pumped and inspired for days, weeks, months and years.

Isn’t having our personal sense of style and taste part of what makes us unique, which is what Yusaku is all about?

My point is, art can change the world for one, a few, some, or many. But I don’t see art in any of its varying forms bringing world peace. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps not.

If you want the Dear Moon Project to inspire world peace, why not take 6-8 of the most powerful world leaders? Certainly a trip on a rocket ship would bring about a new world-view, literally and figuratively. Did any of you read the article of interviewed astronauts’ changed perceptions of earth post-space travel? It includes words of wisdom from Mike Massimino, Samantha Cristoforetti, Karen Nyberg, and others.

Professor Dan Ariely is an incredibly inspiring and influential behavioral economist. He creates – and it’s no less beautiful than “art”. He should be invited to the moon.

If you want people to be inspired, why not take 6-8 children with limitless potential, or 6-8 adults who don’t have a purpose or life passion because they have huge room for growth, or 6-8 people with terminal illnesses; maybe a trip to the moon would bring about some new discoveries that could truly be world-altering.

Maybe send a very religious Jew, Muslim and Christian, along with an atheist. Perhaps together they can come to some realization.

Inarguably, science, medicine, and technology are more influential than dance and fashion. What about all the tireless physicists who have taught us about space exploration itself and paved the path to where we are today? Send them to the moon.

What about adventurers and world-travelers? They are no less artistic via exploration. Shouldn’t that be rewarded with a trip to the moon?

How about the mother who selflessly cares 24/7 for her son. She watches him grow and develop moment-by-moment, influences him and his world, teaches him wrong from right, encourages him to create, play, and live a full and meaningful life. She should go to the moon (her son, too).

Let’s take the father who has always dreamed of creating art, but is confined to his mundane job because supporting his family is top priority. Is the man who leaves his family to create art more worthy than a man who stays to support his family but doesn’t get to create art?

What about the girl who dedicated her life to visiting and cheering up sick children? She creates and inspires just as much as painters do.

I think among the deserving is the guy who dedicates his life to helping trauma victims, or abused or abandoned animals. They inspire and create opportunity for new life, each new life being a potential new world.

Take a comedian! People undoubtedly connect through laughter.

Plus didn’t you see the movie Contact? You need to bring a poet.

What about a chef? Humus not Hamas!

Or what about just like a really super nice person; someone pretty average but who makes people smile. Maybe she compliments everyone she sees, bringing them confidence or just a boost in mood. She lets people go in front of her in traffic. She moves to the side for motorcyclists. She waves hello back at children. She holds the door for people carrying too many bags. She buys snacks for homeless people. Yes, little by little she creates hope for people. She, too, is an artist.

I guess what it comes down to is that he with the biggest check calls the shots. I do look forward to watching the Japanese gameshow with all the contenders… you heard it here, first!

Maybe this post in and of itself is inspiring and I’ll get to go to the moon…but for now, I’ll keep staring through my telescope, desperately messaging astronauts and physicists asking what they recommend for my place in the field, visiting observatories, and reading about astrophysics.

About the author

Dr. Mishmish

MBA, MA. Have more fun. Worry less. Laugh more. Be good to yourselves & others. Grow, learn, and develop.

The greatest risk in life is not taking one.