Carl Sagan’s call for a sense of cosmic perspective and human solidarity continues to resonate and inspire. Here’s a wonderful take by budding animator Adam Winnik:
Sagan’s insight highlights the exquisite irony of our position: the vastness of the cosmos makes us both extremely insignificant and, by the same reason, extremely precious. He expresses this beautifully, I think, in a less-quoted passage from the end of Cosmos:
We have held the peculiar notion that a person or society that is a little different from us, whoever we are, is somehow strange or bizarre, to be distrusted or loathed. Think of the negative connotations of words like alien or outlandish. And yet the monuments and cultures of each of our civilizations merely represent different ways of being human. An extraterrestrial visitor, looking at the differences among human beings and their societies, would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities. But the Darwinian lesson is clear: There will be no humans elsewhere. Only here. Only on this small planet. We are a rare as well as an endangered species. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.
(via Unreasonable Faith)