Thursday, February 23, 2006

Humbling Words



This quote is taken from one of my favourite books, Pale Blue Dot. I posted the quote earlier on my blog, but my readership then wasn't as large as it is now, and hence I felt the quote didn't get the attention it deserves. I chose to also post this on Bridge the Gap, because there are some things to learn from the quote. Please read it, and tell me what you think..

“... 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 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
About the image:
The shiny object in the centre is earth. A pale blue dot as seen from Voyager. The picture is humbling, as it shows how insignificant we are, in the large scheme of things.

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7 Comments:

Blogger (N = 1) said...

Great posting Omar! And somehow it also magages to capture the idea I had when I was thinking of the image for our header. from a large distance our earth is so small, it is ridiculous to be fighting like this...

23 February, 2006 07:49  
Blogger Helena said...

Great posting indeed! How small the earth is, how vulnerable..
Yes, why fighting..

23 February, 2006 14:04  
Blogger Stellar said...

That was a beautiful read. This book seems to be a must read... Thanks for sharing this with us.

24 February, 2006 09:35  
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