In the Dot

One of the first few things you experience on any flight is how little things seem to be from above. Flying has a therapeutic effect on me; it gives me a gift – a re-calibration of perspective. A reminder that several of the things being fought for are relatively small. And beyond materialism, what matters more is the essence of being.

That perspective is also richer for those who have seen the earth from space. The early landers on the moon talked about how small the earth is.

Thirty years ago (on February 14, 1990), this photo of the earth in the context of the expanse of space was taken by Voger 1. The earth – with billions of people with various dreams, aspirations, and our politics, culture, systems, infrastructure, and wealth – is that 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 Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.”

Carl Sagan’s words may not have made sense enough then. But today is another day to embrace that overview effect and see things for what it is – a pale blue dot – and recognise your place in this dot.