April 17, 2018
Just this past weekend, our campus community celebrated a special event organized by the University of Kentucky’s International Student Leadership Team, the UK International Student Council, and the UK Filipino American Student Organization.
The students called their event “Globe Fest,” and indeed it was a special festival that celebrated the world and paid tribute to UK’s ever-expanding global awareness. The event featured a tribute to our diverse student organizations, highlighted delicious international foods, and spotlighted the international talents that have become precious to our community.
No matter the culture, sharing a meal is a treasured social event. Sharing the bounty of our tables with friends, both familiar and unexpected, in love and laughter satisfies a most important personal and social requisite.
I believe events such as these, when we share each other’s precious self-images, help us to understand each other not as Americans or Asians or Africans or Europeans, but as citizens of that blue, green, brown and white orb we call Earth.
Only a handful of men and women share an all-encompassing visual image of our world. These astronauts/cosmonauts are our ambassadors to a greater consciousness. Here are the thoughts a few of the world’s astronauts shared when they returned from the void to find gravity once again tugging at their toes.
“There are so many people who are arguing or fighting over issues which don't have much relevance. We must all realize it is not worth it. It's like being in the whirlpools which are always present behind a little rock near a river. We seem to be living in these little whirlpools and forget that there is a whole river. The picture is much bigger.” Kalpana Chawla, USA
"The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I never knew what the word round meant until I saw the Earth from space." Aleksei A. Leonov, Russia
“It is precisely this shift in viewpoint and what it implies for the capability of the human being and for our view of the universe that makes it so powerful. Getting outside of Earth and seeing it from a different perspective, having this sort of explosive awareness, this abiding concern and passion for the well-being of Earth, will have a direct impact on philosophy and value systems." Edgar D. Mitchell, USA
"I think that the minute I saw the view for the first time was really one of the most memorable moments of my entire life. It's beyond description. I think it has changed my insight into life. I've got more appreciation for the world we live in. " -- Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud, Saudi Arabia
“When you’re finally up at the moon looking back on Earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world.” – Frank Borman, USA
I believe we can all learn from our astronauts’ universal reaction to seeing Earth from outer space. It might just be the world’s saving grace.