Relevance of the Big Picture

One of my favorite ways to relax and reflect is by laying across our 16 ft trampoline with my kids and looking up at the night sky discussing the enormity of the universe. During these times, I can’t help but reflect on what we must look like from out there? One of my favorite authors is the late Carl Sagan.


Taken in 1990 by NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, the “pale blue dot” photo shows what our planet looks like from 4 billion miles away. Earth is the tiny speck of light indicated by the arrow and enlarged in the upper left-hand corner. The pale streak over Earth is an artifact of sunlight scattering in the camera’s optics

In his book Pale Blue Dot, astronomer Carl Sagan eloquently tried to express how he felt about this photo taken by The Voyager spacecraft 21 years ago as it left our galaxy:

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 aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, 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.

3 comments… add one
  • Frank Dec 21, 2011 @ 17:31

    There have been days when I am stopped in my tracks, and simply pause and reflexed on the enormity of it all.
    Such a small speck in such a massive and never ending universe.
    I recite to myself “I am here for a reason, now go and find out what it is and fulfill your destiny”
    enjoy your writing

    Frank Sole

    • Steve Hutchinson Dec 21, 2011 @ 17:47

      Yes – It’s either scary or liberating depending on what story you want to tell yourself.

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