Columbus Day should remind us of the importance of exploration and the curious, optimistic spirit that motivates great explorers — a spirit our nation must renew to reach even greater heights.
Christopher Columbus sought a trade route to the Far East in 1492 by daringly sailing west, not east, as was then customary. Landing instead in the New World of the Americas, he nevertheless found a trove of riches, many of them unknown to and undreamed of by Europeans, that ultimately would enrich civilization.
Realization of the Americas' potential did not come without mistakes that taught hard lessons. But if we allow past missteps to dissuade us from taking on new challenges, we cease to explore and settle for mediocrity.
Americans pioneered across a continental expanse and visited the moon. Yet today, we seem to be preoccupied with the mundane, short on optimism, leery of risk for the sake of the inherently uncertain rewards to be gained by exploring the still-abundant mysteries on Earth and in the heavens.
Instead of stranding ourselves in an Old World of our own making, we must find out what today's New Worlds hold — embracing, like Columbus, the possibilities beyond our familiar horizon.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.