The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Because it is there

Asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, the British explorer George Mallory is said to have answered, “Because it is there.”

Sometimes, goals don’t need to be practical, SMART, or logical. Sometimes goals simply aim at transcendence.

Having a goal doesn’t mean that one will succeed. It means that a person who chose such a goal will do what they can to achieve it. It is the pursuit of that goal that will lead to an outcome.

That outcome is well described in a speech John F. Kennedy gave in 1961. He said, “For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last.”

It was his, now well-known, speech inviting the nation to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

And yes, sometimes the pursuit of such goals allows for transcendence but maybe not at the same time to fulfilling the named goal. George Mallory disappeared during the third Mount Everest expedition. However, until then, he had lived up to his attitude and for example achieved a record altitude of 26,980 ft (8,225 m) without supplemental oxygen.

And no, not everyone who pursues a transcendental goal will disappear on Mount Everest. Some even land on the moon and come back.



Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *