I read that one of the boldest achievements of humankind happened in 1969 when we put a man on the moon.

But, of course, landing on the moon was inspiring, and it advanced the cause of science. But after all, we discontinued the moon landings because we no longer see the point. What is that would really be motivating us to land a man on Mars? The technical advance it represents, or the ego boost? The fall of humanity on Earth? Anyway, whatever it is, what I am trying to say is that there are achievements on the part of ordinary people that are equivalent to great moon landings.

To ask again, certainly, every single astronaut is courageous and the moon landing was a really great achievement but is theirs the only kind of achievement we can actually honor or celebrate?

We don’t have to actually find Atlantis for bold gestures. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the world by restoring the abused dignity of his people through the power of the spoken word alone. That’s an achievement. Want more? The unarmed students who stood in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to demand that their voice be heard in one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.

Well, Martin Luther King Jr.’s a slam dunk but there are actually millions of equally great, every single day, unrecorded great achievements that have taken place since 1969.

Some people can get too pessimistic about the world that they find it easy to diminish personal, private achievements, making their own everyday struggles to feed their own families and love their children insignificant. Yet, those are the achievements from which the society is woven.

The thing is, we need to look thoroughly into our everyday lives to see our achievements. No marriage, for example succeeds solely in the basis of its anniversary celebrations. A marriage is constructed of little daily gestures that conspire to make something infinitely bigger and grander. Daily sincere compliments, to show appreciation rather than taking things for granted. Good-bye kisses in the morning and tight hugs and comforting conversation in the evening. A bowl of hot soup in response to a fever…

The point? Let’s not devoid things of the small moments, do not let small moments be swept away by the big moments.

The same is true of the world we inhabit. The social programs held to educate every child and to offer help to other people are as great as moon landing.

If we could end hunger on Earth, if we could put an end to racism as well as if we could banish loneliness by giving more love into the world, then it would be the greatest achievement of all time.

I’d like us to call for each of us to recognize a thousand achievements around us. When we shift our focus slightly and embrace these achievements, it changes everything. We can and we must reward others for their own achievements. The reward doesn’t have to be more than a smile, a remembered name, a letter or email of admiration, a compliment, a joke, a thank you, or a cup of coffee.

The thing is, we, as we label ourselves ordinary people are also capable of doing something great as the moon landing. The achievements made by the doctors and nurses who give tirelessly of themselves to save the lives of their patients; the police officers who walk dangerous streets in order to keep their communities safe; the scientists and laboratory technicians who stay up late at night in search of cures for the diseases; the teachers who offer themselves to the students hoping for them to have a bright future; the ordinary people who overcome their fear of something; they who were able to manage to control their anxieties; they who made someone smile; they who did an act of bravery. I, who decided to write more often. How about you?

Share your achievements below, let us celebrate our achievements together!