Pale Blue Dot

pale-blue-dot-voyager-earth-nasa.jpg Image source: Wired

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any
particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. 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. 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. 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