Earth images, Earth stories

Alok Mathur

globe Our view of the Earth should have changed during the last century, when humans travelled into outer space and perceived our magical planet in its fullness.

Astronauts were enchanted by this delicate, marble-like sphere suspended in inky darkness. Some felt a deep connection with their Earth home. The absurdity of national boundaries and the endless conflicts between different groups of people became amply evident. Many astronauts report feelings of wonder, beauty, love, and care welling up in them, changing the way they thought about the Earth, about themselves, and their life.

For example: Edgar Mitchell reports,
“Suddenly, from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth . . . home.”

He goes on to say,
“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 looks so petty.”

The author is a teacher of geography and a part of the Teacher Resource Unit at Rishi Valley School, Madanapalle. He can be reached at alok@rishivalley.org.

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