I waited until today to post on Reagan’s passing… for a lot of reasons.

Mostly, to collect my thoughts on what I remember about Ronald Reagan when I between the ages of 5 and 14. Yes, during my formative years. And my dad wonders why I’m mostly conservative… go figure. *chuckle*

In memory and respect, here are four things I took away from the Reagan era:

1. America is a great country, with a great responsibility. Her people are a people of diversity and culture, and miracles. We can perform miracles, we can do it every single day. Every day, we can have a little slice of the Berlin Wall coming down. You simply have to want it, believe in it and do it for yourself, or for someone else.

2. Drugs… suck. I have never in my life, participated in the use of a drug that could even be considered an illegal substance. They’re bad for you, they screw up your life and they screw up the lives of those around you. The brief high you get from them, simply isn’t worth the rest of your life.

3. The environment is important, but not at the expense of reason or sanity. Yes, we need to find better ways to get our resources so that we are doing less damage to the environment, but taking ourselves back to the dark ages is not the solution. The solution is to use what technology we have, to find better technology that doesn’t take unfair advantage of our world. Contribute, or start your own research into alternative methods of fuel, power. Don’t wait, do it today.

4. Outer space… is a wonderful place. So wonderful that astronauts risk their lives, just to get to see it through a tiny window on the shuttle. If people are willing to give their lives for just the smallest taste of what lies beyond our atmosphere, imagine what we’d be willing to give up if we could find out what lies on another planet? Every penny spent on space exploration is worth it.

Reagan… was a powerful speaker. I remember sitting in my grandparent’s living room the day the Challenger exploded. I remember the tears rolling down my cheeks when Reagan honored the astronauts that died. I don’t remember all of his speeches in detail, just that often after watching one, I would end up crying. Either tears of joy, or tears of sadness and pain for those elsewhere in the world that night. Reagan motivated me to think beyond the world I lived in to see a much larger picture. I wish that everyone could hear his words and take away what I took away from it.

But I think that the most important thing that I took away from that era, was a belief that America was a great place, but could be greater. All we have to do… is want it to be. It is within our realm of possibility. We can make anything happen if we want it bad enough and making it happen always begins with you.