The “Pale Blue Dot.”

I posted the other day on Facebook about wanting to be inspired.  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines inspiration as “the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions.”  The thought came to me as I watched the video clips and pictures on the anniversary of September 11, followed by the news of the violence bubbling over in the Middle East after a U.S. Embassy was stormed in Libya.  I needed to be inspired because some days it’s all so depressing the things we human beings are capable of doing to one another and the planet.

Listening to NPR this afternoon, I found the inspiration I needed in a discussion of the spacecraft, Voyager I.  In 1977, two spacecraft were launched that would travel the solar system taking pictures and recordings along the way.  One of those space craft, the Voyager I, is currently at the edge of our solar system after 35 years of travel, and is poised to move out into the great beyond.  In addition to cameras and recording devices, on board is a phonograph made of gold.  The directions for playing it are inscribed on its surface.  It contains sounds and images from our planet and its many cultures.  Listening to the examples of the greetings and expressions of good will from all of the people around the globe to anyone whom might find it was a stark reminder that we are all part of one human race.  It brought me to tears.  If some other life does find it, the message will be that we were a diverse, yet singular human race sharing the tiniest planet offering our good will as one.

There’s a famous photograph taken by Voyager I when it was about 3.7 billion miles from earth.  Carl Sagan coined it the “Pale Blue Dot.”  If you want to be inspired and reminded of just how much we are all in this life together from one end of the globe to the other, listen to what he has to say about our earth.

I don’t know what the answers are to how we ever stop the endless bloodshed, divisiveness, anger and hatred.  Unfortunately, pettiness, thirst for power, greed, and the ability to be just plain be nasty are in the genes.  What gives me hope is that we are also so much more.  Human beings can be kind, giving, hardworking, hopeful, responsible, artistic, scientific, spiritual, honest and willing to share.  I’ll never forget in the aftermath of September 11 how it felt when people across the planet came together in their grief.  The whole world mourned as one that day.  It didn’t matter what one’s nationality, religion or cultural was.  We stood together against the terribleness of that day.  Unfortunately, we dropped the ball again.  We need to pick it back up and never stop trying to find our better selves and insist the same from our leaders and fellow human beings.  Notwithstanding our diversity, we are one human race and we have only this tiny, beautiful and remarkable “Pale Blue Dot” to share.  Hopefully, someday in peace





6 thoughts on “The “Pale Blue Dot.”

  1. Bev, what a heartwarming blog! One blog like this can make hundreds of frontpage war stories less painful in our quest of believing in peace. I believe peace can happen. And I believe in angels. Thanks, for a great, uplifting read.

  2. I will leave you a link to one of my favorite videos. It puts our little lives into perspective. Thanks for the blog, and the link to the NPR piece. I get engrossed in my audiobooks, and don’t listen to NPR as much, now.

    I shared your link on facebook.

    • Thanks for the link, Susan. The size of our little planet compared to others and the various stars puts things in perspective. As for NPR, I wish I had more time to listen to it as well. Lots of good stuff. Have a great weekend.

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