Pale Blue Dot…
I am not one to watch the news, pay too close attention to politics or get caught up in the hype of what’s current and popular. Some people may think that’s a terrible thing to admit as we are the stewards of this world and what happens in it. I think there may be enough people holding on to that part of reality that I can let go a little. By their being concerned about every detail of the news and presidential election, I can let go and be concerned about bringing happiness and love to the world around me. With other people grasping on to the fear and concern that the media loves to share, I can release and let go of fear with each breath. There is enough fear to go around and I think there needs to be a little more love and compassion infused into our world.
It’s not that I don’t pay attention at all, but I try not to get wrapped up in it.
This morning as I’m working I’m listening to Radio Three Sixty at the Chabot Space & Science Planetarium. This is music with dialogue strung throughout. I began to hear a recognizable voice from my childhood, Carl Sagan. He was who brought us views and thoughts about science and our world. His voice brought me back instantly to sitting with my parents and being in awe of what I was seeing and hearing.
In todays times with the debates in full swing, his words seemed to penetrate a bit deeper. I know this is because I’m older. In fact, I’m now the age that my parents were when I first heard Carl Sagan speaking. But these words are trying to have us gain some perspective on who we are, where we are. There are a lot of people trying to bring this awareness to our people. Why it continues to be so challenging is somewhat beyond me. And when I look at who has risen to the top of our presidential election I am speechless. Truly.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space