“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.

The Earth is a very small
stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by
the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely
distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their
misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent
their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those
generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become
the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our
imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged
position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our
obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come
from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only
world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in
the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle,
not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and
character-building experience. 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.”