4th February 1990, the day that the spacecraft Voyager 1 left the planetary parameter of our solar system, scientists back at Nasa decided to turn it around for one last look at our home planet, the earth. 6.4 billion kilometers away, suspended in the starry abyss of the edges of our solar system, the Voyager 1 captured a portrait of our world. From that distance, the picture painted of earth is that of a mere speck, a mote of dust floating in scattered sunlight. But for us, it is all we have ever known, our entire world incarcerated in a tiny little dot. I have read Carl Sagan’s rather exemplary passage from his book ‘The Pale blue dot’ innumerable times and each time the profound truth in the simplicity of his words is overwhelmingly accurate to me.
As I envision the evolution of the human race unfolding on what is a minute dot from a distance, I realize that the significance of this dot is as vast as the universe itself. Our planet earth is the only home we have ever known, as Sagan says and it is in this home that we have created an astoundingly immense history, the depth of which is immeasurable. The legacy of the humankind, of our planet dates back to the geographic changes that started millions of years ago, changes that formed continents and civilizations, changes that lead to the outbreak of several unimaginable eras. In this time, we have given rise to several different ideologies and religions, as Sagan says. Social, political and economic evolution, the birth and death of thousands of historical figures, the formation and destruction of different civilizations that turned into what our today modern day countries, their variety of leaders, their diverse populations with their religions and ideologies, the fascinating creation of various other species, the greatness of the leaders and heroes we have known and the cruelty of others who spilled rivers of blood, it all transpired on this planet. The magnitude of the endless kind acts by human beings all over the world, the aggregate of every emotion, the struggle and suffering, the joy and love that connects us all, it all exists right here, within us. It maybe a dot to someone watching from a billion miles away but to us it is all we have our time as humans.
There was a beginning and there will be an end to it all but that doesn’t in any way minimize the worth and value of a time that may not be remembered in the future but will always exist in the legacy we leave behind as the pale blue dot.