Sunday, May 3, 2020

The Miracle of Life

I recently read an article about NASA’s mission to visit Mars in The New Yorker. It tells the story of the Curiosity mission and the people behind it.

It was a great read, but I especially like the closing paragraph. It’s about how the writer (Burkhard Bilger) went out with a NASA scientist named Grotzinger. They visited Death Valley in California, which has similar terrain to Mars. Here is the paragraph:
After we’d hiked down to the valley again, Grotzinger pulled an ice chest from the back of his S.U.V. and set out a picnic of salami and cheese, hard rolls, and ripe tomatoes. The valley seemed barren now, he said, but in the spring, after a dusting of rain, it would be bright with cactus blossoms and yellow creosote. When he camped here with his students, he could sometimes hear kangaroo rats or kit foxes moving beyond the firelight. “On a clear night, with the stars and planets blazing above you, it could be breathtakingly beautiful,” he said. “You look at enough pictures from Mars, and you really start to appreciate the Earth.”
For me, the last sentence is powerful: “You look at enough pictures from Mars, and you really start to appreciate the Earth.”

Just think about it. Compared to the other planets, the Earth is like heaven. Mars is covered in deadly deserts everywhere you look, not to mention the poisonous atmosphere. The other planets are even worse. They have extreme temperatures, terrible hurricanes, and often no place to step on. In contrast, here on Earth we have trees, waterfalls, birds, lakes, and fresh air. What a beautiful place. We, however, often take this place for granted. We don’t realize what a miracle the Earth actually is.

Similarly, we might have other things in life that we take for granted. Our health is a good example. In order for you to be healthy, so many things in your body have to work right. If even just one thing goes wrong, you could lose your health. Being healthy is miraculous, but often we don’t appreciate it enough.

You might have problems in your life. Everybody does. But you are more fortunate than you think.
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