Do you remember the 1990 Voyager photo of the Pale Blue Dot, Our Blue Planet barely visible as a tiny grain of rice, like a speck of dust in a sunbeam seen from the outskirts of our solar system?
From that far away global debates even about surveillance, privacy and trust seem very insignificant indeed.
What does it all matter?
You can’t trust anyone, anyway.
Or can you?
Let the big guys fight about who’s got The Most Money, The Most Power, The Biggest Data.
Let them fight their vane school yard games, so alarmingly adolescent if it wasn’t for the sad fact that they are deadly serious about it and don’t care if they involve millions if not billions of ordinary, law abiding citizens on Our Blue Planet.
To the majority of us, our small, everyday concerns are by far the most important.
Right now I’m actually worrying if I have enough rice to cook for dinner this evening.
Should I rush out to buy some more?
Going a little further out, not to buy rice, but into space from where the Pale Blue Dot photo was taken, Our Blue Planet disappears altogether.
And even further out, if we could manage to get there, we wouldn’t even be able to see our solar system at all.
I find that very consoling.
The mere existence of Earth, billions of years of evolution, humanity itself and everything that goes with it, merges with the universe, with infinity…
Disappears into nothingness…
Dissolves in the darkness of eternity…
In the vastness of space and time, we, Homo sapiens, really don’t matter that much.
All our love, hope, hate, struggle for knowledge, money, sex and power doesn’t matter one, tiny pale blue speck of dust.
I find that a most calming thought.
Stars and solar systems are borne and die away…
Universes come and go…
Here today, gone tomorrow…
Yes, so what?
But this Pale Blue Dot, this tiny grain of luminescent rice, is Our Planet, Our Home. The most soothing shade of life-giving ocean blue, hoovering alone in the midst of nowhere, with us, Humanity, crawling bewildered, all over it, like busy ants on a forest floor.
Living something we don’t really understand.
But this is what we do.
This is what we have.
This ever fascinating world of form, colour, smell and sound.
This unfathomable planet of multifaceted diversity.
This finite Earth of endless possibilities.
This is where we live our lives.
How do we earn the trust of each other?
How do we avoid letting down people who trust us?
Universes might come and go, but for the time being, as long as we are here, on Our Blue Planet, we all have to prove we deserve the trust of one another.
High and low.
Big and small.
You and me.
Trust is the very foundation of happiness.
- INTRODUCTION: The greatness of small things – and the minuteness of the infinite.
- TWO of my favourite quotations.
- LOST in the marvels of cyberspace or the endangered art of going for a walk.
- TWO degrees of separation: Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Marilyn Monroe and me.
- A HOME, is a home, is a home…
- WHERE have all the flowers gone?
- THEN my feet will fall off!
- HOMO empathicus.
- A YEAR of silence.
- PRIVACY Matters: Dissent is the lifeblood of a healthy society.
- UNIVERSES come and go… trust matters.
- MARCH OF NATIONS – What a Wonderful Illusion.
- RECIEVE updates for free.