«Is it worth it? Should we just pull back, forget the whole thing as a bad idea and take care of our own problems at home?»
«No. We have to stay here and there’s a simple reason why. Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you’ll get ten different answers, but there’s one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won’t just take us. It’ll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophenes … and all of this … all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars.»
Mary Ann Cramer interviews Cmdr. Sinclair in Babylon 5: «Infection»
Ah, Twitter. Lots of outrage porn, but occasionally there are … wow’s:
Just look at that … we are a tiny, tiny, tiny part in this universe (not sure how well-supported that image it, but still). It’s a bit like Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” speech:
«We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every 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 in 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 the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. 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. It is up to us. It’s been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, 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 and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.»
Carl Sagan, October 13, 1994
Just zoomed out a little more.
Take the time perspective as well (how long humans, or even Earth has existed) — if that does not give life perspective, it’s hard to know what will.
And despite all the negativity that is currently around us, trying to force us on our knees by a thousand little cuts, by inept pandemic regulations, interest groups that strive on dividing the sexes and people of different skin colors, media and so-called social media thriving on outrage porn, and much, much, much, much more, there is something more … out there.
Something worth reaching.
Something to be creative for.