In an unbelievably foul political climate, Carl Sagan’s inspiring video keeps things in perspective

Matt Classen is the Editor in Chief of Our Times
(Twitter:@mattclassen; Facebook: @ourtimes.matthewclassen)


Matthew Classen, Editor in Chief, Our Times

The current political climate in the U.S. is more foul now than it ever has been. In fact, it almost seems as though just when you thought it could not get any more foul, new lows are reached. Everywhere you look the echo chamber that is the media communication that pervades our space on an almost continuous basis is telling us exactly how angry and frustrated you should be, and how one side or the other is “stupid” or “corrupt” or “morally bankrupt”. It has gotten so hopeless that people are not only starting to talk about armed revolution against a “rigged” system, but actual violence is being played out against representations of whatever political party one belongs to. What’s more is that this is all probably going to get worse before it gets better. This highly unfortunate reality does not just threaten to tear apart the very fabric of a civilized American society, but the fabric of global society as a whole.

With the above in mind, it is more critical now than ever to remember what makes us human. More specifically, to keep in mind what makes us as individuals and collective societies beautiful and worthy of existence. I was reminded of this yesterday when I came across a video where Canadians were reminding the U.S., and all it’s citizens, what makes America great. When I saw the title I thought some group of buggers was ‘taking the piss out of’ (British term meaning ‘to make fun of’) their challenged neighbors to the south. Prepared to be somewhat perturbed, I watched the video. It almost brought a tear to my eye (and still does now that I think about it) in how beautiful a gesture it was. It told us that despite our political issues now, that we should be reminded of all the great things that American society has brought to the world. It was this shared sense of brother/sisterhood that reminded me of the beauty of what binds us together as human beings that inspired me to write this column today.

In the spirit of sharing this all-too-valuable message, especially in light of the current, vicious political climate, I want to play my role in reminding my fellow earth citizens that despite superficial differences, the vast majority of us are loving, peaceful, empathetic representations of the vast, infinite creative power of the universe. I know that this is a big concept concept to throw out there. But if you need a sublimely inspiring reminder of what this actually means, I’d highly encourage you to watch (or rewatch) the following video by Carl Sagan. It might just actually create enough space in your psyche, if only for a little while, to remember that we are all human, that we all have value, and that we all inhabit a “Pale Blue Dot” somewhere in the unending cosmos.

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