Happy Carl Sagan Day! On the anniversary of Carl Sagan’s birth, people around the world celebrate the beauties of the natural world and the science that allows us to discover them. Maybe there’s an event near you listed on the Carl Sagan Day page, or maybe you’d like to watch an episode (or more) of Cosmos on Hulu (free). Better yet, watch with a child or teenager if you can.
I really like what Sagan had to say about living and about facing death:
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. (From a 1996 article, “In the Valley of the Shadow,” in Parade)