Jack Smith

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The cleaner in all of us

In 1969, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

I wasn’t alive. But I can only imagine the incredible feeling that must have surged around the world on that day. We had successfully taken man off Earth and on to the moon. And even now, 12 men have only ever had the privilege of setting foot on the moon. But a hell of a lot more helped, and were responsible for getting those 12 men there and back safely. Neil Armstrong can by no means claim all the credit. 

Before the Apollo 11 launch, some reporters were conducting interviews at NASA HQ at Cape Canaveral. A cleaner was walking towards them, broom in hand. The reporters thought, why not get some footage from him. 

“So what’s your job at NASA?”

“It’s my job to help put a man on the moon.” 

Think about that. It’s the cleaner’s job to put a man on the moon. Yeah right. He’s a cleaner. His job is to make sure the toilets are clean, right?


We are all vitally important to one another’s successes. And failures.

Never look at yourself as just a cleaner.

Instead look at yourself as part of something great, even if you aren’t the face of recognition after it all.