distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any
But for us,
again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us.
everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever
heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out
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
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.
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.
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
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and
There is perhaps a 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.