The Best Thing I Read This Week Is…

earthsagan

From Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot:  A Vision of the Future in Space:

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.

Everyone should start their day by reading that.

I also loved the following by Henry Rollins:

rollinsIt hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it’s so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn’t come back. You’re left so alone that you can’t explain. Damn, there’s nothing like that, is there? I’ve been there and you have too. You’re nodding your head.

I love the line “You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted.”
I’m nodding my head.

Both quotations are from an article on Thought Catalog titled “30 Quotes That Will Rip Apart The Way You See Your Life” complied by Brianna West.

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2 thoughts on “The Best Thing I Read This Week Is…

  1. This concept makes me feel so calm, rather than insignificant. I don’t quite know how to explain this serenity. Maybe it’s the fact that, in the end, nothing matters, really, so we might as well do what makes us happy with our tiny little lives and return back to the world in atoms when the time comes.

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    1. The Sagan excerpt makes me feel calm too. Every time I read it I think “Stop dealing with everything so seriously”. If the earth is “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”, what are we? What are our “problems”?

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