Leo, intrinsically joyful and kind.
“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 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. 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 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 stand.
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.”
– Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot from 1994, read by the wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson
Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth, ‘you owe me’.
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
– Hafez, mystic Persian poet (ca 1325-1390)
“I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift.”
– Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist and linguist
Even in adverse and unfamiliar situations establish a routine. Bounce back to helpful rituals such as remembering my daily mantra (make today count; be kind), reading the newspaper.
Journal. It helps reflect and put things in order. This creates perspective and understanding.
Never stop counting my blessings, first and foremost Continue reading “What I learned at Samos hospital”
1. Be kind.
2. Make today count.
3. Laugh from the bottom of your heart.
Before going to bed, I count my blessings of the day.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Sperm travelling to egg. Fotografiska Museum Stockholm.
Foto by Lennart Nilsson.