Brant: My fondest wish for the holidays we share – The Robesonian

brant:-my-fondest-wish-for-the-holidays-we-share-–-the-robesonian

May I add that camDown is the maximum in security for you and your loved ones and your mother would say the same!


I begin this article with the second verse of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day: … “and in despair, I bow’d my head: “there is no peace on Earth, I said, for hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on Earth, good will to men…” The third verse of third verse of O Holy Night gives a more positive outlook: “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is Peace… And in His name, all oppression shall cease…”

“Peace on Earth.” On the marquee of the old Planetarium, you would see those three words. Always. Not just during the holidays we are now observing. Let me explain why I am so ardent about this idea. Every time the Planetarium is running, a scene appears on the dome. Space, stars everywhere, and in the field of view, our lovely and vibrant blue/white/green Earth, spinning in all it’s radiance. A link to a video of the International Space Station’s Earth cam is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86YLFOog4GM. Astronauts who see the Earth from space call it the “overview effect,” and are almost uniformly humbled and overwhelmed by what they are seeing.

My favorite quote is from Apollo XIV Lunar Module pilot Edgar Mitchell.

He said, “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.”

I wish all of us would do as Mitchell advised.

When you see an image like this every day that the Planetarium runs, like I do, the things that divide us seem to become much smaller, and fade to insignificant babbling.

If you get about 3.7 billion miles away, as Voyager I was when it took the now famous image of the Earth called the “pale blue dot,” the Earth is not even a full pixel. On that scale, does your quarrel with whomever, or about whatever, matter?

Of course, no discussion of the “pale blue dot” would be complete with-out mentioning the reflections of the people’s astronomer, Carl Sagan. Sagan said, while reflecting on that fraction of a pixel, “There is perhaps no better a demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.”

The entire quote from Sagan is linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb4WhNvLRFw, but to me, the crux of it comes down to this, again from Sagan: “It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience,,, To me, it under-scores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me” — Jill Jackson Miller

I’m guessing that most of you have sung this song on some Sunday mornings. But how many of us choose this path in our daily lives?

The most fond wish I ask for every year is that we find a way to get along. I now have grandchildren, and those of you who are likewise blessed understand the intensity of the desire that their world be some-thing we would be honored to leave for them to build upon. So far, dis-appointment and deprivation seem to prevail. Is this what we want to bequeath them? If we don’t get our collective selves together and heal, rather than wound, it will be our legacy.

“Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything” — Ray Bradbury

Peace on Earth!

As you may know !