A Pale Blue Dot
See that little dot in the picture? It isn't a smudge on the screen or a speck of dust. It is us -- our planet Earth suspended in a ray of sunlight!
In 1977, NASA launched a spacecraft, Voyager 1, to study the planets Jupiter and Saturn, and their moons. On February 14, 1990, as the spacecraft reached the outer fringes of our solar system, NASA engineers turned it around for one last look at our home planet. And there it was -- a pale blue dot only 0.12 pixel in size suspended in a vast empty space.
Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer, wrote an inspiring speech based on this picture. It is my all time favorite as it puts things in perspective, and as I listened to it yet again, I felt compelled to write this blog.
As Sagan states it so beautifully -- we live on a glorious planet, the only home we've got. Yet, it is on this very same pale blue dot that history has witnessed the worst of human nature. Ideologies that divide mankind, and hatred and intolerance that turn man against man. Sadly, it all begins with a difference of opinion -- one that blinds us to another viewpoint and has its roots in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of change.
If only we could embrace the differences, and be guided by the humanity, compassion and kindness that is there in each of us. The greatest changes in society and innovations in technology come from those who tread boldly into the unknown and question the status quo -- not for their own personal glory but for the greater good of humanity.
We are here today, gone tomorrow. The footprints we leave behind will define our legacy.