A New Perspective, The Pale Blue Dot



Perspective, a mental view of an individual which defines his actions and determines focus. An engineer may start his day in a totally different way from a doctor, in the same manner, the head of a big corporation may being with the same goals as a political leader. Eventually, this basis which forms our focus, also narrows it making our thoughts more restrictive and embroiled, at times, entangled within a small domain. It takes a deep insight to free ourselves from this self-imposed persistent activity. The source of such revelation may just be the daily dance of the nature you see on your way to work or some words of a great thinker you come across. Carl Sagan was one such thinker. In his book, ‘Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space’, were these words, the most critical yet inspiring. You may have already seen it before, but every time you read, it makes you re-evaluate yourself, and think twice of the words we use and the way we act.

“Consider again 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, every mother 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, 1997 reprint, pp. xv–xvi

The phenomenal Carl Sagan and his revelation of Earth’s portrayal of being a Pale Blue Dot definitely has a lot of significance the way we should look at life.

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