shutterstock_170155307111

Time To Get Some Perspective

December 11, 2018

To obtain a perspective of your supposedly “life or death issue” that is stressing you out, I want to share the story below with you. Please remember it, like I do, every time I lose perspective of the bigger picture.

When the Voyager 1 probe was 3.7 billion miles from Earth, Carl Sagan made a request.

He asked NASA to turn it around to snap a quick photograph. The result was a faint image of Earth as a pale blue dot surrounded by the vastness of space. The late astronomer would then use this picture to share his reflections on what it meant and why it was important for us to capture.

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 rivers of blood spilt by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. 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.

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 harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the foreseeable 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 stand.

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

I hope that this message from Carl Sagan enables you to have a better perspective of the issue that may currently be creating stress in your life. You will survive this issue as you have survived other issues that seemed like life or death for you at the time. When you look back now you will remember the torment you went through when first that major calamity in your life struck you in your heart and you were shocked to your core.

You are still standing after all this time as Elton John reminds us with his song of the same title.

I’m Still Standing
Elton John

You could never know what it’s like

Your blood like winter freezes just like ice

And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you

You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win

Well look at me, I’m coming back again

I got a taste of love in a simple way

And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win

You starting down the road leaving me again

The threats you made were meant to cut me down

And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now

You know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John

I’m Still Standing lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

About Neville Berkowitz

Neville was born on 4 July 1952 and has been a successful Global Real Estate Economist; Institutional Investment Adviser; Real Estate Developer and Investor; Author; Publisher; Internet Entrepreneur; meditator; spiritually conscious being; sportsman; and, most importantly, a loving father to his two best friends - his sons, Michael and Jonathan.