Thinking About Our Pale Blue Dot

Astronomer Carl Sagan, who would have turned 86 today, once wrote:

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”

We’ve been asking you lately to imagine what a truly humanist world would look like. A world in which poverty, hunger, and environmental destruction are relics of the past, and everyone can meet their basic needs.

As an astronomer, Sagan pondered the uniqueness and fragility of life on our “pale blue dot,” motivating him to call for a similarly humanistic vision. He believed that to understand the cosmos is to understand our place in it, our interconnectedness with nature and one another, and to ask:

“Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family?”

Today as we remember Dr. Sagan, we also call on our community to join us in reflecting on our small stage in the vast cosmic arena.

At FBB, this reflection further fuels us to strive for a hopeful, vibrant vision of society. To reject small, self-centered modes of thinking. To do whatever we can to cultivate broader loyalty to our planetary community.

We are each cosmically small beings of limited individual power, but each harboring tremendous potential to uphold the lives of those around us. We each have a responsibility to put this potential into action. Sometimes the impact may feel small, but as Sagan put it:

“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. […] In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

We hope you will join us in caring for at least one such invaluable human life today.


Button: Imagine. Give.