By: Simone Siew || 10/21/2016
A few weeks ago, Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel into space, hosted a breakfast talk at IU that Women in Business was given the privilege to attend. Jemison is not only an astronaut, she’s an engineer, a physician, and an entrepreneur who founded her own consulting company. Jemison is a woman who knows no limits when it comes to ambition. During the talk, Jemison spoke to us about her astounding career that has taken her through a wide variety of industries. She also reminded us of something important, the importance of space.
Jemison pushed us to stop letting space reside on the fringe of what we know, and bring it to center stage where it belongs. Space exploration may be too abstract, too fantastical to think about in regards to our daily lives, but have we forgotten about smartphones, weather forecasts, satellites, or MRI technology? Those are all pieces of our daily lives that only exist due to space exploration. Space exploration represents not only innovation at a universal scale, but also innovation in our daily lives. Space exploration represents humanity’s wildest fantasies coming true, and Jemison reminded us that if humans can find a way into space, everyone can find a way to make our own personal fantasies become a reality.
Jemison implored us to, “embrace the reality of being Earthlings.” Jemison admitted that yes, most humans will never leave the planet, yet that doesn’t mean we should limit our dreams.
Space travel and Mae Jemison herself represent humanity’s refusal to accept the status quo. They represent bigger dreams and even better realities. If humans can travel into the black space beyond Earth and if Mae Jemison can do all that and also become a doctor, physician, and entrepreneur, what does that mean for us? Hearing this inspiring woman achieve all her dreams and more show us that our own dreams are truly within grasp.
It’s easy to be caught up in trivial matters, sleepless nights, or school related stress, but Jemison’s talk reminds us to take a step back and remember that we’re all empowered, strong women. Jemison once said, “the future never just happened, it was created.” Humans before us landed on the moon, created the smartphone, MRI technology, the ability to forecast weather, and the future didn’t stop with them. Space is bigger than we could ever conceive, and there’s still so much more to be explored, so much more to discover. Here on Earth, there are still endless opportunities to innovate, and our future will continue to be created by us.