Thursday, January 22, 2009
Happy birthday, Tom Jones!
Today is the birthday of astronaut Tom Jones.
After I read Dr. Jones' book "Skywalking", I sent him an e-mail to tell him how much I enjoyed it.
I was delighted when he sent me back a very kind note to thank me. When I responded back with a sort of specific conversation, he wrote me *again* and addressed every point I had made. I get the feeling that Tom Jones is one of those rare people who, though he is smarter and more fascinating than the vast majority of the planet's inhabitants and even though he is asked the same questions over and over again, treats every person kindly and patiently addresses each person's points as though he's hearing them for the first time. That's how astronauts are in our imaginations. That's the ideal astronaut. They aren't rude or conceited. They don't get irritated by admiration and they don't act bored with your questions. They certainly don't act like this. They act like --- heroes.
And heroes are kind.
In an age of violent athletes and slutbag celebrities, it's good to know that guys like Tom Jones exist.