Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Pale Blue Dot: Humbling or Empowering?

When most people talk about the size of Earth in comparison to the Universe, they usually speak of our insignificance. They say its a humbling thought- to be so small, and I understand why they say that. On a model scale we are a dot. We are that town in the middle of no where with a population of 100 that doesn't even make it on the map. So yes, when thinking that way I get it, but using that same idea, of our insignificant size to the universe, and then looking back to all we have accomplished, I no longer feel trivial. As small as the earth is, we have grown and learned. We have advanced in everyway. Nations have been built. Life spans continue to grow. New discoveries arise everyday. When I do start to look at the universe as a whole and question our relevance its thoughts like this that keep me from feeling insignificant. Because sure, to the universe, Earth makes up practically nothing, but to us its our everything. It supplies us the air we breath, protects us from the harsh rays of the sun, gives us water and food, and overall gives us life. So instead of being humbled I am empowered by the idea that something so little, can give so much. If not to the universe, at least to me.


  1. (H3) I never put much thought into our significance on a universal scale. I always thought of accomplishments in relation to other points on this planet. However, I like Roseanna's perspective, to be empowered by what we have not what we have in relation to an infinite universe. Sometimes it's hard to not feel small in relation to space, or even on this planet. However, if you focus on your own successes you are filled with a sense of purpose and meaning. Maybe it is okay to be both humbled and empowered by our size and existence in this unbounded universe we call home.

  2. H3
    I agree wiht you, Rosseana. Although Earth is just a tiny pale blue dot, it is everything to most of us. It has given us our life and for many our future. It sustains us to live day to day and to grow and to advance. However, looking on a universal scale, it is also kind of humbling in a way because we have no idea what fills our universe and if anything out there has the same lives we do and the same advancements, if not more advanced. I cannot help but ponder on the idea that we are not alone and that there is more than there seems to be. So, as I am empowered by what humans have accomplished and continue to accomplish, i cannot help but be humbled by the idea that we are tiny and and in some way insignificant compared to the rest of universe.

  3. Just to echo everyone so far, I would add that the terms "humble," and "empowered" are not opposites. The opposite of humble is prideful, whereas the opposite of empowered is powerless. The miniscule size of our planet certainly doesn't make me feel prideful, and also not powerless (look how far we humans have come!). Therefore, I think the pale blue dot introduces us to a perfect marriage of both humility and empowerment.