And you think about what you're experiencing and why. Do you deserve this? This fantastic experience? Have you earned this in some way? Are you separated out to be touched by God to have some special experience here that other men cannot have? You know the answer to that is No. There's nothing that you've done that deserves that, that earned that. It's not a special thing for you. You know very well at that moment, and it comes through to you so powerfully, that you're the sensing element for man.
You look down and see the surface of that globe that you've lived on all this time and you know all those people down there. They are like you, they are you, and somehow you represent them when you are up there — a sensing element, that point out on the end, and that's a humbling feeling. It's a feeling that says you have a responsibility. It's not for yourself.
The eye that doesn't see does not do justice to the body. That's why it's there, that's why you're out there. And somehow you recognize that you're a piece of this total life. You're out on that forefront and you have to bring that back, somehow. And that becomes a rather special responsibility. It tells you something about your relationship with this thing we call life. And so that's a change, that's something new.
And when you come back, there's a difference in that world now, there's a difference in that relationship between you and that planet, and you and all those other forms of life on that planet, because you've had that kind of experience. It's a difference,
And it's so precious. And all through this I've used the word "you" because it's not me, it's not Dave Scott, it's not Dick Gordon, Pete Conrad, John Glenn, it's you, it's us, it's we, it's life.
It's had that experience. And it's not just my problem to integrate, it's not my challenge to integrate, my joy to integrate — it's yours, it's everybody's.
- Russell Schweickart