From “A Pale Blue Dot”
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.
*This wasn’t planned, my vision for this blog is and always will be a safe space, surrounded by humour and most importantly everything bizarre about my life so far. But I needed to write this down.*
Racism and prejudice has no place in the modern world, yet we can’t deny it still exists. We don’t have the excuse when talking about it in the past, when we say “It was a different time” “Nobody saw it that way”. If that were true, then what is happening today is more calculated and insidious. It also begs the question, what is the point of documenting history, if we don’t learn from our mistakes as well as celebrating our glories? We need to stop being blinded by symbols, flags, statues, they are a human invention that ultimately mean nothing. Were they all to be destroyed without trace, all forgotten, do you really think those same flags and symbols would be recreated as they are now?
I don’t condone the vandalism, but I understand it. When you’re aren’t being heard, aren’t being listened to, it’s human nature to create a non verbal statement. History tells all if you’re willing to read. However, as always it has steered the narrative away, turned the message into something that can be used to the advantage of those who disagree, who want to keep everyone divided. Can those who were out in London on Saturday (13/06/20) claiming to only be there to protect statues, that they are not racist, but when surrounded by the out and proud far right, still claim that? You chose to stand shoulder to shoulder with those, who’s sole purpose was spread hate and create violence, are you still trying to tell the world you aren’t (even in a small way) complicit for reasons behind the BLM marches the previous day? That ultimately you care more about a statue than the genuine injustices of your fellow countrymen.
I’m not perfect, my cynicism and growing lack of trust of all humans is not insignificant. As I get older, human’s lack of accountability and placing blame on others is making me despair. Some days all I see is hate and division, and I often wonder if we will ever change, that maybe the best thing is for the planet to wipe us out and start again? Only by putting my thoughts down, (and these are mine, mine alone) can I believe I haven’t given up hope yet. There is still goodness, kindness and humility in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.
It’s 2020, racial injustices should not still be happening. People of Colour shouldn’t still be demanding equal rights and equal voices, the fact they still have to shout just to be heard is on us all. Of course all lives matter, but when faced by those asking the simple question, why isn’t mine included? We need to listen. We are once again being taught a lesson in humility that should’ve been learnt a long, long time ago.
We have to get it right this time.