Several days ago, I wrote a post entitled: Galactic Roadtrip Preparedness List. Without explanation, this post probably seemed a little weird. I believe that weirdness is a good thing – it spices up our lives and prepares us for unexpected encounters in the world – but I think this particular post might need some explanation.
Look at the picture above. It’s called the Hubble Ultra Deep field, and it’s the result of NASA scientists pointing the Hubble space telescope at a seemingly dark patch of sky for a total of 11.3 days. What you’re seeing is a collection of galaxies that are so far away from us that they are hardly visible to the one of the most powerful telescopes ever constructed by man. They are so far away from us that their light took several hundred million years just to reach us – when you look at this image, you are looking back in time.
I don’t know about you, but to me this is one of the most inspiring breathtaking photographs taken by man. When I see it, I want to visit every single galaxy in this image, explore each one fully, and then continue on to the rest of the universe. I believe that exploring that image is more important than the stock market, the economic crisis, businesses big and small, and all of the stupid border disputes everywhere in the world put together. That expanse is so much bigger than we are, and there is so much in it that is so beautiful – how can anyone who sees this image just go back to their little lives and keep doing their little chores? How can anyone see this image and go back to swindling other people out of their money? How can anyone see this image and keep fighting some age-old conflict over who controls some tiny plot of land in the middle of no where? Because after seeing that image, I don’t care which little plot of land it is, or whether it’s in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, or North America: it’s tiny, and it’s insignificant compared to the rest of the galaxy, let alone the universe.
At the same time, we are significant. We have culture, society, music, art, love, architecture, and all sorts of other things. We are beautiful, and I personally believe that there are creatures in the universe that are just as beautiful, strange, and incredible as we are. And I want to meet all of them. That’s why I wrote that post. If I had the opportunity to explore the galaxy, I would give all I own to be able to do so, and to record as much of it as I possibly could in the process. My greatest wish is that we will begin to explore our galaxy in my lifetime, and that what we find, and the effort involved in finding it, will unite us all.
Idealistic? Yes. But if everyone is idealistic, then we might fail a lot, but when we do succeed we’ll bound forward.