Interstellar launches us into a dust-covered, depleted world where humanity’s only hope for survival lies in the skies. With crops failing due to drought and blight, it’s only a matter of time before the human race becomes extinct. In the midst of this, Cooper believes there’s still things worth fighting for. Truth, for instance, and his family. He says, “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
It’s a profound statement. In the midst of everyday drudgery, we often lose focus on our dreams. The struggle to survive, even while dirt piles on top of us, can make dreaming seem impossible, ludricous, even.
Yet it is our dreams which bring us hope. It is our dreams that can change the course of our lives, even the course of humanity. “People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity,” John Adams said. Amid great hardship, early colonists fled to the New World. In the midst of war and oppression the United States of America was ultimately born.
Inventions and genius often manifest despite, or even due to, harsh conditions. Charles Goodyear, who discovered the industrial uses of rubber, experimented for years to find a way to make rubber durable and heat-resistant. While others gave up, he persisted until his family was on the brink of starvation. He even spent time in debtor’s prison.
But he was determined to succeed despite his struggles: “Between the bare conception of an idea, and the demonstration of the practicability and utility of the thing conceived, there is almost always a vast amount of labor to be performed, time and money to be spent, and innumerable difficulties and prejudices to be encountered, before the work is accomplished.”
May we all look to the stars, even while clawing our way out of a pile of dirt.
What dreams do you cling to? How do you keep those hopes alive even when life gets hard?