On May 29, 1953 Edmund Hillary climbed to the very top of Mount Everest, with his mountain guide, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. That day he stood at the top of the world; a new world now. The one I was born into. The world where the tallest mountains could be summitted. It was one more step on a path lined with signs that spelled out complete enthusiasm and encouragement. Follow your dreams, do hard things. You can accomplish what ever you want, one step at a time.
Sir Edmund Hillary died yesterday. He was 88. What struck me the most as I listened to the tributes on the radio were the accounts of his compassion and humility. He spent years setting up schools and health clinics and hospitals in Nepal for the Sherpa people. If anything, his ascent up Everest seemed to be not only for the purpose of showing how one can accomplishing hard and wonderful things, but it also allowed us to see something even more important: the love, humanity, and work of a humble man, and what he can ultimately accomplish. Edmund Hillary simply left the world a better place.
More about Hillary here.