here's a generous snip:
the cosmic perspective flows from fundamental knowledge. but it's more than just what you know. it's also about having the wisdom and insight to apply that knowledge to assessing our place in the universe. and its attributes are clear:
the cosmic perspective comes from the frontiers of science, yet it's not solely the province of the scientist. the cosmic perspective belongs to everyone.
the cosmic perspective is humble.
the cosmic perspective is spiritual—even redemptive—but not religious.
the cosmic perspective enables us to grasp, in the same thought, the large and the small.
the cosmic perspective opens our minds to extraordinary ideas but does not leave them so open that our brains spill out, making us susceptible to believing anything we're told.
the cosmic perspective opens our eyes to the universe, not as a benevolent cradle designed to nurture life but as a cold, lonely, hazardous place.
the cosmic perspective shows earth to be a mote, but a precious mote and, for the moment, the only home we have.
the cosmic perspective finds beauty in the images of planets, moons, stars, and nebulae but also celebrates the laws of physics that shape them.
the cosmic perspective enables us to see beyond our circumstances, allowing us to transcend the primal search for food, shelter, and sex.
the cosmic perspective reminds us that in space, where there is no air, a flag will not wave—an indication that perhaps flag waving and space exploration do not mix.
the cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet-to-be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
by neil degrasse tyson
from natural history magazine, april 2007