Quote for Today: Carl Sagan

The_Day_The_Earth_Smiled_-_Preview

Earth, a pale blue dot seen just past the rings of Saturn, taken by the Cassini spacecraft on July 19, 2013.

We can explain the wan blueness of this little world because we know it well. Whether an alien scientist newly arrived at the outskirts of our solar system could reliably deduce oceans and clouds and a thickish atmosphere is less certain. Neptune, for instance, is blue, but chiefly for different reasons. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest.

But for us, it’s different. 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.

Carl SaganPale Blue Dot

9 thoughts on “Quote for Today: Carl Sagan

    • You are welcome! This is such a powerful quote and I was excited to find the recent Cassini photo. The book was inspired by the Voyager photo of Earth, which isn’t as impressive now that we have better technology. Thanks for reading!

    • Earth is certainly the center of the universe for us as a species, even if it isn’t located directly there. We should value our planet as if it is the only place with life. It is too expensive to waste. And yet, we know from our Earth that the variety of all that is here surpasses our imagination. I hope that that is the case with life in the universe as well. Thanks for reading and responding!

    • Great point. All of us Terrans are connected, whether we like it or not. With all love to Douglas Adams, the dolphins can’t leave the planet any more than we can. As far as intelligence, its value depends a great deal on what is required, doesn’t it? All of our plans and schemes don’t count for much if we lose our ability to adapt and live in our environment.

    • The blueness of Earth, especially from so great a distance, somehow suggests serenity and reassurance, as if all the hatred and struggle, like the color red, had been absorbed and negated. If only that could be true for us.

Leave a Reply to Indrajit Rathore Cancel reply