I was watching the famous ‘Pale blue dot’ speech by Carl Sagan – precious words that are as relevant today as they were nearly four decades ago. It got me thinking about how insignificant we human beings are in the vast universe, yet our actions irreversibly impact the existence of the only inhabited planet, thereby jeopardizing our own existence.
Sagan was a part of the NASA mission Voyager to outer space in the year 1989. When the space probe was about to leave the solar system, Sagan requested for it to turn around and take one last image of Earth as a tiny blue speck amidst the ocean of planets and stars. This went on to become the famous pale blue dot image – a reality check of our tiny and insignificant existence in the vast scheme of things.
We are a mere speck in a vast ocean called the cosmos, yet we hold a place of privilege. Living on the only space that can foster and nurture life and being the only life form intelligent enough to explore and comprehend it comes with an immense responsibility – the responsibility of not abusing it to the point of no return .
Human race has a turbulent history replete with life-altering progress and mind-numbing destruction. The amazing organ that we possess – the brain – coupled with determination and intense hard work, has brought about a huge change in the way we learn, work and live. It has made the world a much smaller and more connected place that offers endless options to learn and grow.
Unfortunately somewhere along the path of development, we have crossed the fine line between effective use and blatant abuse of nature’s resources. Testosterone fueled conflicts orchestrated with an intent to gain supremacy, is pushing us on the path of self-destruction by putting to threat the very existence of Earth, the only home ever known and the only place where we can live.
A case in point – the Covid-19 pandemic that has impacted every single country in the world killing millions of people, is showing no signs of abating in spite of widespread vaccination. The origin of the virus may not have been conclusively established, but every possible theory points to a blatant disregard towards other life forms and towards life itself.
Diversity is the key to the very fabric of life. It takes life forms of different kinds to make this pale blue dot one of the most beautiful parts of the cosmos. Each life form, no matter how small, is very important in the large scheme of things. Every thought or point of view, no matter how radical or diverse, is valid when seen from a different perspective.
The path of mutual respect, open minded thinking and valuing diversity is the only way that we can ensure we have a home to live in.