By Kent D. Shifferd
Think of where we are, on a very special, tilted planet that revolves on its own axis every 24 hours while it is circled by a moon that moves around it every 27 days, and both are circling the sun every 365 days, and the sun and all its planets are part of the spiral barred galaxy we call the Milky Way, which is revolving around its own axis once every 250 million years which means that our incredible little planet is racing through space, carried along by the galactic revolution or Cosmic Year, at a speed of 500,000 per hour or 12 million miles per day. Try to picture all these simultaneous movements in your mind. We are on the outer edge of just one galaxy in a universe of 100 billion galaxies, a tiny dot in measureless space.
And yet, and yet…this incredible planet has life, indeed is a living planet encased in a web of creatures dependent on one another and all functioning to support the whole miraculous enterprise. And here we humans are, conscious of all this, which ought to be both overwhelmingly humbling and awe-inspiring to the point of putting us on our knees. To think that we are a part of this almost inconceivable cosmic dance leaves me breathless. And I say to myself, how can we possibly harm one another and the whole web of life, for as far as we know there is no such other planet like earth, and if there is, it’s too far away get to.
This is it, here on this rapidly moving miracle planet. So, to put it simply, let’s all get along together and nurture the unique systems of life which support us in this remote but awesome place in the universe.
Kent Shifferd, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of From War to Peace: A Guide to the Next Hundred Years and former Executive Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.