“[…] every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Someone I knew once showed me Carl Sagan speaking about the Pale Blue Dot. I can’t remember the context or why he showed it to me, but I remember that the movie made me feel so calm. So accepting. Whatever nonsensical problems I was going over in my head, or whatever I thought was so important in that moment, just went away. This is what’s important. We are all important, and we are the only ones on this planet. It seems pointless for us not to work together, when we’re surrounded in such a vastness that we don’t know so little about.
Changing perspective this way is crucial. At least to me. When everyday life becomes too important and when I fuss about the little things, that’s when I need to go outside and just look up. As a kid I remember going outside on cold winter evenings when all stars where visible. I would search for the star constellations that I had learnt in school, and I would wonder what was going on out there, out I the vast darkness. It also gave me so much perspective. Feeling tiny in relation to the universe is scary in a way, but also comforting. Does it really matter what everyone thought of my sweater that day, or what grade I got on my test? Not really, there are things that matter so much more. And the only way to see them is by zooming out.
Of course we cannot think about everything in relation to the vastness of university all the time, our lives need to be zoomed in. We need to eat, breathe, feel and all the logistical and highly prosaic activities that happen everyday. Otherwise we would go crazy. But zooming out once in a while to put events in relation to each other makes it all so much clearer. We are important. Are planet is all we have at the moment. We need to cherish it and we need to cherish each other.
“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.”
Quotes from Carl Sagan