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I Didn't Do Anything Alone


Of Course I Trust You Will Do The Right Thing
A clergyman said of me years ago, "You're quite accomplished." I had submitted career credentials in offering my experience to the organization's administrative offices. I believed they were doing a good work. Wanted to assist in furthering a sincere rightful cause. Which turned out to be on a volunteer basis. The clergyman's words were meant as a compliment. At least it's how I interpreted them at the time. They threw me off guard a little. Nothing I'd done translated, to me, as some great thing. Jobs and positions mere attempts in finding what lights me up inside. Intellectually and humanitarian mindedness.
Katherine G. Johnson, mathematician and one of Langley's "human computers", was honored on Friday by NASA at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Day's event culminates in a ribbon cutting ceremony for new state of the art,
The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, named in her honor. Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and Langley Center Director David Bowles officiating.


For most, already fully versed in Mrs Johnson's successes over a 33 year career with NASA at Langley, it was a long time coming. To those of us learning of this great lady's achievements only recently with the release of the movie, Hidden Figures, it is timely. Especially for me. Motion picture is based on the book of same title written by author Margot Lee Shetterly. Shetterly was among distinguished guests in attendance. Alongside U.S. Senator, Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.
Katherine Johnson says it best in a video message shared with everyone present at the celebration. She and her colleagues, women working in male dominated STEM jobs in the 1950 and 60s had to endure much friction and resistance to their being present and accounted for. In the room demanding a seat at the table because the high caliber of their work's expertise has earned it. Women of color even moreso faced formidable challenges just to do what they enjoyed. In her own words Katherine Johnson echoes voices of yesterday ringing with conviction today. More diverse, yes, yet inclusive still teeters between tolerance and putting progress to action.

The 99 year old NASA retiree says best advice she can give is, "Do your best all the time. Like what you do, and then it will be easy. If you don't like it? Shame on you." She did not ever miss a day. In 33 years. Dedication like that and during period I am certain warranted some downtime. To keep your head in the right place. Not Katherine Johnson whose commitment to excellence contributed to more than a few historical NASA mission successes. All of which are memorialized upon the walls and in framework of the Research Facility. Senator Mark Warner after saying a few words presented Mrs Johnson with representation of actual decree document now entered in Virginia Congressional Record. Noting her story should not just be told but taught in every school in Virgina and every state's school system in the country.
Gleaning from a vast treasure trove of wisdom I take away this thought. Katherine G. Johnson is someone most interested in the success of us all because as she pointedly expresses, "I didn't do anything alone." None of us, no matter our talent genius or sheer will power can accomplish anything truly beneficial to humanity as a whole without others of likemind. Who are so inclined to set self, prejudice and ego aside for the sake of uplifting everyone. Regardless where we are in life. Or what stage the career. If we're not doing that which inspires others, let alone ourselves, then we've a responsibility to be about the business of course correcting. With mathematical precision.

Postnote: Sharing this in Off Topic Forum. Katherine Johnson's words echo from yesterday. Ringing in today. Elon Musk in talks and interviews conveys that his motivation to innovate is rooted in being excited about the future. And I have always championed what we do with our hands is indicative of who we are. Ultimately intellect is only the beginning. Where creativity generates a vision. Vision energizes a plan. To realize it. Bring into existence said vision takes ingenuity collaboration and labor. None of which is a one man or woman show.
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