This image has crossed my path several times this past week. I have seen it used by a Christian televangelist and by scientists for different reasons. I liked what the televangelist had to say about it. He said something along the lines of here we are as seen 3.7 million miles away. Earth is this small dot in this huge vacuum of space. Insignificant in comparison. Yet, as far as we currently know, life has formed only here. Insignificant in comparison to the whole of the universe as seen 3.7 million miles away, yet significant because in all of the known universe God chose to create life here.
From this vantage point all of our problems also seem small and insignificant to the greater picture of the universe. It is not of the universe’s concern that we are entrenched in a war in Afghanistan. Or that one oil company has destroyed life in the Gulf of Mexico. Or that racism is alive and well in America. From the Universe’s perspective all is well and moving around its mysterious center as it has for billions of years and presumably will for billions of years to come.
I have learned that when my problems seem huge to me, they seem insurmountable. Problems never can be solved when I am so entangled in them that I confuse the forest for the trees. It is only when I am able to step back away from them and gain a different perspective that I am able to tackle the problem. It is only when I can see the problem in comparison to the larger picture of my life that I can begin to see solutions to that problem.
We are one pale blue dot in the great universe. Whether or not life continues to thrive on this planet, we are one pale blue dot. It is time for us to start acting like we are part of this dot and not separate from it because from the universe’s perspective we are only a tiny speck in the scheme of things. An insignificant speck at that. From the universes perspective all is well because the problems we face are insignificant to its function.
If we destroy each other through war, the universe will continue as it has. If we destroy the environment through our own greed and malfeasance, this pale blue dot will continue to follow its orbit within the Milky Way. If we allow racism to flourish, while it demeans our quality of life, the universe will not notice. Just as we have not noticed what is happening on a planet in another galaxy.
So how shall we live on this speck of dust? How about as one accountable to it? Let’s find better energy resources that will not destroy life. Let’s find ways to live together in harmony since we are so very small in the universe. Let’s put away our racism and our acts of war because these do not serve to promote life. While we may be a speck of dust in the Universe, we are a planet of great diversity that should be celebrated not despised, not abused, not taken for granted.
And as the televangelist said, as far as we know, the creating force of the universe has only created life here. Therefore as insignificant as we may be, life on this planet is unique. We should tender that uniqueness with honor, respect, and above all with love. Blessings,