“Shoot for the Moon … “

Nitpicking? Absolutely.

“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” -Les Brown

I hate this quote. I think it’s stupid, tacky and 100% cliche. It’s just a wordy way to say always try your best. The problem with this quote is the totally absurd premise that if you miss the moon, then you will be among the stars. This is a very loose interpretation of the word “among.” If indeed you get shot from Earth in order to reach the moon and miss, you will be floating in space. If you are “in” space and so are the stars, then I guess you are among the stars right away. As a matter of fact, we are all among the stars as I write this, and as you read it.

Obviously this explanation of among the stars isn’t what Les Brown was going for. He is trying to infer that if you miss the moon you will reach “the stars” because you have shot yourself so hard with your will power. Well the closest star is Proxima Centauri and it’s 4.2 light years away. So you might be “among” Proxima in about 1 million years. But then you are only among a single star. It’s not possible to be among multiple stars because they are so far apart from one another. Stupid.

Secondly I am having a hard time following the analogy of the moon and the stars. Shooting for the moon is like choosing a goal and going after it. This I understand. For example, I want to get myself a really nice house or a nice career. That is my moon, and I am shooting for it. Now I am lost, I don’t understand what the stars are supposed to represent.

Say I miss, I didn’t get the job, or the house. Now I am among the stars? What are the stars? Are the stars symbolic of the lessons I learned in my quest for the moon? Are the stars my new friends and connections? Are the stars a symbol of the the warm fuzzy feeling I get for shooting so high and failing or missing? It would be hard to believe that the stars are actually my shitty 1-room apartment and my min-wage job that I ended up with after MISSING my original goal the moon.

Maybe I am missing the point altogether. In which case this quote is PURE GENIUS. Maybe what it’s saying is, when we are setting our original goals we should aim for the moon. But because at that time we are so short sighted and inexperienced we are unable to understand that there are stars beyond the moon. If we try as hard as we can to reach the moon and miss, only than can we see all the other opportunities. If that is the case, then this quote makes some sense. But it isn’t. It sucks.

Anyone who uses this “inspirational quote” seriously, is automatically on my shit list.

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