Monday, June 9, 2014


I'm not going to repost the picture, it's out there on the web. But, what Carl Sagan had to say about that small island in the Cosmic Ocean can't be said often enough. Neil Tyson used this quote in the finale of the final episode. That quote and his summing up are enough to get me to buy the series.

"From the Pale Blue Dot.

That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.
On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every 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, live 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 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 the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturing, our imagine 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. It is up to us.

It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and if I might add, a character building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known..

 Carl Sagan.
Yes, it's the only home we have or will have in the forseeable future so we do we keep treating it like a garbage dump? Why do we treat our neighbors as if they were disposable trash? Why, oh why, or why. I was literally in tears at the end of the episode. We're capable of so much more. So damn much more.

No comments: