We Are Utterly Insignificant

Pale Blue Dot

After watching the second episode of Peter Joseph’s Culture In Decline and feeling sufficiently bummed out, I stumbled on a thought provoking passage from Carl Sagan’s reflection on the Pale Blue Dot —the famous image above taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1990 that shows our humble planet earth at a distance of 6 billion kilometers.

Here’s an excerpt:

“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

It’s mind-boggling to think how utterly insignificant we are in the broader context of the universe.