A little perspective, please.

I thought it time to brake out a favorite quote of mine by Dr. Sagan. We seem to be out of sorts and I hope this helps.

“We succeeded in taking that picture, and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every 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 rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. 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.

[…] To my mind, 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 and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
— Carl Sagan, speech at Cornell University, October 13, 1994

I challenge you to think big. No, bigger. I want you to imagine ways to save a species form extinction. The species in question is capable of abstract thinking, planning depth, symbolic behavior (e.g. art, ornamentation, music), exploitation of large game, and blade technology, among others. Despite these characteristics the species exhibits self destructive social constructs and behaviors. Their global impact is greater than any pestilence or natural disasters. These animals foul their environment, deplete natural resources and overrun all other species. Despite their innate intelligence they exhibit tendencies for fallacious reasoning, cognitive dissonance and a myopic perspective of the natural world. In short, not unlike a drunken teen with a stolen car, no place to go and moms credit card. It’s not going to end well.

Good luck.

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