I have always been a huge fan of Carl Sagan. A dedicated scientist and activist, he frequently questioned humanity and its place in the Universe. To Sagan, the relative futility and insignificance of life on Earth, in comparison to the vastness of the Cosmos, merits a more compassionate approach to life in general. In this excerpt from his book “A Pale Blue Dot”, Sagan puts into simple terms how inconsequential the wars humans fight are, and suggests that we hold each other up and take care of our global community, instead of battling for control over an infinitesimal speck in a massive Universe.
I, personally, enjoy this line of thought. It forces me to put into perspective my daily struggles and reconsider how I treat others. Than’s artwork reminds me of actions I can take to broaden my worldview and treat others with more kindness and empathy. Though one can interpret the text in a rather nihilistic light, I choose to believe, as I’m sure Sagan would have agreed, that it expresses a humanitarian concern: we only have one planet, and we consistently destroy ourselves to control slivers of it — slivers of a pale blue dot in the vast emptiness of space.