• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:24am
The Daily Matter
PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2013, 12:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 February, 2013, 10:39pm

You are here: a little perspective for a Monday morning

BIO

Christy Choi is a news reporter for the South China Morning Post covering science and technology. Before the SCMP, she worked for the Phnom Penh Post and Time, writing about sharks helping tame lionfish invasions, mealybug infestations, human trafficking and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, among others. As a former contemporary arts curator, she has a soft spot for the arts, and while science is her beat at the Post, she won’t say no to a good yarn about pretty much anything under the sun. Reach her on Twitter @jchristychoi
 

“Look again at 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 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. 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.

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 human future in space.

Image from: I f**king love science.

Humbling isn't it? Food for thought as we go into another week, Hong Kong. 

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2

This article is now closed to comments

Michael Lee
Very much needed. Thanks!
adam55
Yes, every country possesses nuclear bombs is a threat to the humans. Against this background, pl try to check out which countries got the largest nuclear firepower? USA and Russia can destroy this lovely planet in no time if they release their bombs and missiles to eliminate the world. Think who are the chief culprit.
Haroom Mah .
 
 
 
 
 

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