And we count these moments, these moments when we dared to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known - we count these moments as our highest achievements.
Perhaps we've just fogotten that we are still pioneers, and we've barely begun, and that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us - because our destiny lies above us.
I'd disagree with Nolan on a quibble - we have not always defined ourselves by our own ability to be greater than we are, to do the impossible. Most of the time, we define ourselves by what we are not, or by who we stand against.
The Cold War was a great example of this. People who inhabited this same small planet, breathed the same air and equally cherished their children's futures were willing to throw everything away over manufactured differences.
It was in this time of global tension that one man stood up before the world and dared to demand the impossible - putting a man on the moon. We did that, and the world changed.
Not every problem was solved, not every grievance was settled and equitable justice for all remains an elusive goal, but the people were given a mission of historic proportions to rally behind, rather than rally against.
Of course, Nolan gets this. He's not trying to tell us how it is - he's trying to inspire us with a vision of what we can be. You see, leaders don't put themselves above the people - leaders point us in the right direction.
Our destiny lies above us... Nolan does love his metaphors.
You don't find if you don't look.