This I Believe

George - South Lake Tahoe, California
Entered on June 5, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe that Copernicus and Galileo and Kepler were right. I believe the telescope and infrared spectrometers and moon missions and rovers on another planet don’t lie. In a word, I think our astronomical understanding of the universe is true.

I believe Earth is a small planet amongst several circling a totally ordinary star in the outer reaches of the Milky Way galaxy; just one galaxy in an immense multitude of galaxies composing a universe so large as to utterly defy our slightest understanding of it.

I believe it only a matter of time before we identity life elsewhere out there. But, whether we find it or not, I believe it’s there.

I also believe that five hundred years after Copernicus first realized that recognizing we are not at the center of the universe was, by far, the better understanding of it, we still don’t get it. We humans are but a small speck in a thin film of life covering this little planet tucked away in a corner of the vast universe. Yet we still behave as if that universe was created for us.

In view of what we now know about our place in the cosmos, I believe the idea that it is, somehow, about us is totally absurd.

That was an idea that helped us immensely in the melee of competition that survival has always been for all living things on this planet. But I believe it is not only outdated by at least five hundred years, it is an idea which now threatens the very survival of the Lifeforce itself on this planet.

Global warming, run away greenhouse effect, and ozone depletion aren’t problems whose boundaries are limited to effects on humans. And they are likely only the tip of an immense iceberg of our making.

I believe it is the Life on this planet that we must now honor, not just ourselves. Continuing as we are presently going threatens to snuff out every bit of that life, effectively killing Gaia, the living planet we have, until now, regarded as a mere object for our exploitation.

I believe we must give up the idea that the universe was created specifically for the purpose of nurturing human beings. Instead we must recognize that we are a part of this magic, living, paradise of Life on planet Earth; simply an organ in the body of Gaia. Our role must become doing our part in perpetuating Gaia’s life, not selfishly exploiting every resource as if we could live without the other organs that also keep Her alive.

Gaia is my, scaled down, perhaps, but far more relevant,