“We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians” – A pesrpective on the overview effect

A friend of mine forwarded me an interesting article on the ‘overview effect’ and how viewing the Earth from space has literally transformed the lives of several astronauts.

The overview effect is described as a shift in awareness resulting from viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface.

My favourite quotes of the overview effect have to be from Ed Mitchell. I leave his thoughts below for your contemplation:

“In outer space you develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that….'”

“We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.”

“My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.”

“Eventually we must leave Earth–at least a certain number of our progeny must as our sun approaches the end of its solar life cycle. But just as terrestrial explorers have always led the way for settlers, this will also happen extra terrestrially. Earth is our cradle, not our final destiny.”

“What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness. I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity.”

These quotes are inspiring and contain some profound messages for reflection.

No matter what our conception is of God, or our beliefs in a Supreme Being or Intelligence, it is interesting to observe the effect that a simple change in perspective can have…

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