Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan

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,
everymother 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,
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

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2 Responses to Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan

  1. Maie Liiv says:

    thank you for this – shared


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