• Jeff Johnston

The Humility of Humanity




The pale blue dot. If there isn’t a photo that encapsulates humanity I am not sure what does. Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 3.7 billion miles, as part of that day's Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System. (Wikipedia).


Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


The picture had very little scientific value but offered a phenomenal opportunity to give great perspective to humanity’s place in the vastness of space. Every single moment of human life that has ever happened has occurred on this tiny speck. Every tear cried, heart warmed or moments of laughter occurred here. Every heroic moment and horrific event has occurred here. Every single moment in human history, ever, has occurred here. Yet, in one instant it all could vanish. The fragility of life is never more on display than with The Pale Blue dot.


“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 with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-Carl Sagan

Humility is the deepest realization of where we stand. There is a sense of modesty and a majestic, almost magical wave of awe. What seems significant in our lives, many times simply isn’t. Given the state of world affairs today, it would seem that humanity needs to be humbled.


On Sept. 21, 1987, then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave an address to the United Nations General Assembly. President Reagan asked basic questions and commented about the nations and cultures of the world uniting in common efforts to live in peace and avoid wars and bloodshed.


“Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity,” Reagan said.


“Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond,” Reagan proposed.


I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?


With all the recent UFO talk and statements from the pentagon, I often wonder, like President Reagan, what would happen if we were invaded by aliens from another world? Set out to conquer and destroy us. It would seem that so many issues, apparently so paramount to society’s health, would suddenly seem so trivial. As you move throughout your day and your life, be mindful of how beautiful life, your life, truly is.


Live Undeterred! Jeff


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