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Yup. This is it. Take a long, hard look at this stunning planet that supports each and every one of us, no matter what our color, our heritage, our religion, our individual or collective likes and dislikes, our language, our sexuality or gender. We, individually, are not even a speck of dust in the picture.

What we do collectively, can unfortunately, influence what happens to our biosphere. That is not because we are brilliant or powerful or smart or great. Our impact on this planet is a result of our sheer volume and by what that awful multitude of us extracts from, above, and below the skin of our earth, and by what we expel into that gorgeous water, the multihued land, and the invisible atmosphere cradling our planet.

From the ground, we become myopic. We fuss over what others are doing or not doing. We argue over things that make not a whit of difference to the planet: religion, power, politics, borders, race, ethnicity, values, did I mention power? Consider NPR reporter Steve Inskeep’s final question in an interview with Colonel Behnken, speaking from the International Space Station:

INSKEEP: Gentlemen, final question, do you get a chance to follow the news from home? And does it feel different from the distance that you’re at to be following it?

BEHNKEN: It’s tough to see the world kind of in the state it’s in right now from here. It’s difficult to see the challenges that we’re facing with the strife in the cities and with the pandemic. And then, just by virtue of being able to look out the window, you see the world with no borders up here. And that does resonate with you. And, hopefully, that message can get back down to Earth, that, you know, we need to be able to work together for the common good and not work against each other and argue all the time over things that shouldn’t be argued about. (emphasis mine)

Please, work towards a peaceful coexistence with your neighbors and our beautiful planet.