“The unity and fragility of the Earth”: videos for Thanksgiving

Two videos:

One eloquently argues the need to venture farther into space, the other celebrates a spaceman’s return home. But both are strikingly united in the perspective that space travel provides: the realization of just how breathtakingly beautiful and irreplaceable our world really is, and how urgently that vision needs to be shared. Astronaut Ron Garan, who produced the second film, explains:

It was very moving to see the beauty of the planet we’ve been given. But as I looked down at this indescribably beautiful fragile oasis, this island that has been given to us and has protected all life from the harshness of space, I couldn’t help thinking of the inequity that exists.

I couldn’t help but think of the people who don’t have clean water to drink, enough food to eat, of the social injustice, conflict, and poverty that exist.

The stark contrast between the beauty of our planet and the unfortunate realities of life for many of its inhabitants reaffirmed the belief I share with so many. Each and every one of us on this planet has the responsibility to leave it a little better than we found it.

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, traveling thousands of miles to come home, wherever home is. Here’s something I’m thankful for: this world, this pale blue dot, bearing the scars of all our thoughtless deeds, nourishing all our hopes and desperate dreams; endlessly varied, endlessly astonishing; insignificant and terrifyingly fragile in the vast cosmic dark, and yet for that reason all the more precious. Home to all of us. Let’s take care of it, and of each other.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(h/t Bad Astronomy. Visit The Sagan Series and Fragile Oasis for more.)

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