The Spirit of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”: A Beacon for Global Peace and Respect for Inherent Human Dignity

By Jaseem Pasha, MD
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Before reading this article, I want you to read a historically profound quote from Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan’s poignant description of our planet as a ‘pale blue dot’ offers a deep perspective on humanity’s humble place in the vast cosmos and reminds us of our shared responsibility to cherish and protect our only home.

Here is the quote[1]:

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least soon, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores 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.”

In an ever-globalizing world, the refrain “One Earth, One Family, One Future” is more than just a hopeful[2] mantra—it’s a clarion call to action, echoing the collective aspirations of societies everywhere.

Without excluding anyone, respect for inherent human dignity is the essence of a civilized society. Without this solid foundation, no constitution, law, democracy, religion, theories, cultural and traditional values are valid regarding morality and ethics. They stand as nothing more than just garnish concealing Homo Habilis’ backwardness[3], even against the backdrop of technological advancements.

Recognizing the depth of this shared human dignity is essential today, where fractures in international relations and civil society seem to widen daily.

One Earth:

Our planet is our shared home. Regardless of our nationality, ethnicity, or religious beliefs, we all reside on the same blue dot in the vastness of space. Environmental challenges like climate change, deforestation, and pollution underscore our responsibility. When one region suffers an ecological catastrophe, global ripple effects are felt. As such, the spirit of “One Earth” beckons us to unite for the conservation and sustainability of our planet, recognizing that our individual and collective actions have broader consequences.

One Family: The notion of a singular, global Family transcends the barriers of nations and cultures. It emphasizes our shared human experience, regardless of geographical or sociopolitical divides[4]. In this Family, the joys and sorrows of one are felt by all. It is a reminder that in our diversity lies our strength and, in unity, our resilience. To uphold the idea of “One Family” is to actively work towards eradicating prejudices, biases, and discrimination that threaten the fabric of our global community[5].

One Future: The Future is not an isolated event waiting to happen—it’s a culmination of our present actions and decisions. The idea that we have “One Future” suggests that our destinies are intertwined[6]. Collaborative global efforts—in science, economics, or diplomacy—are a testament to our shared aspirations for prosperity, health, and progress. However, this collective Future is only possible if we recognize and act upon our shared responsibilities and challenges.

Inherent Human Dignity At the heart of these three principles lies the bedrock value of respecting inherent human dignity. Such dignity is intrinsic and innate, a birthright no external force can grant or strip away[7]. To respect human dignity means to acknowledge the undeniable worth of every individual to recognize the equal rights of all human Family members[8]. This core value is the very essence of global peace and progress. When societies embrace this principle, they lay the foundation for justice, equity, and lasting peace.

In conclusion, “One Earth, One Family, One Future” is more than just a vision: it’s a roadmap leading to the ISEEK’s Zeitgeist[9] of the 21st century. It allows societies and individuals to work towards a harmonious and prosperous world. Rooted in the unwavering respect for inherent human dignity, this spirit reminds us of our shared responsibilities, hopes, and dreams. As the global community grapples with numerous challenges, may this mantra serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path to peace, progress, and mutual respect.

References:

[1]Goodreads: Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan [ https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1816628-pale-blue-dot-a-vision-of-the-human-future-in-space]

[2] “The Global Effects of Environmental Pollution: A Symposium.” George B. Knechtel. Springer, 1968

[3] Homo Habilis refers to an early species of hominids that lived approximately 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago. The name “Homo Habilis” translates to “handy man,” which was given due to the association of this species with the earliest known stole tools.

[4] “The Idea of a Cosmopolitan Community.” Kant’s Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim. Cambridge University Press, 2009 – Note: Kant’s cosmopolitan right stems from an understanding of all human beings as equal members of a universal community.

[5] The World as a Single Family. Raimon Panikkar. Orbis Books, 1990

[6] “Shared Futures: Global Trends and the Role of International Collaboration.” British Council Report. 2018

[7] “The Concept of Human Dignity in Human Rights Discourse.” Kretzmer, David and Eckart Klein. Kluwer Law International, 2002.

[8] Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations, 1948

[9] Zeitgeist: mid 19th century: from German Zeitgeist, from Zeit ‘time’ + Geist ‘spirit’ – the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time

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