The news these days is filled with polarization, with hate, with fear, with ignorance. But while these feelings are a part of us, and always will be, they neither dominate nor define us. Not if we don’t let them. When we reach, when we explore, when we’re curious – that’s when we’re at our best. We can learn about the world around us, the Universe around us. It doesn’t divide us, or separate us, or create artificial and wholly made-up barriers between us. As we saw on Twitter, at New York Times Square where hundreds of people watched the landing live, and all over the world: science and exploration bind us together. Science makes the world a better place, and it makes us better people.
I wish more people understood this. Not just read it and thought “yeah”, but really get it in their bones.
Something else occurred to me after watching the MSL team celebrate last night. One of these two eventualities will almost certainly happen:
- Someday a human being will find Curiosity on Mars and put her and her older siblings in a museum where they can be admired by future space-faring generations.
- Our species will fail to migrate from this planet and we’ll go extinct when it can’t support us anymore.
If we’re really lucky and work really hard, we can make eventuality number one happen in our lifetime. I hope I’m around to watch when somebody meets Curiosity on Mars.
What a great day to be human.