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The Overview Effect

It is said that when an astronaut sees the Earth for the first time from space – they sometimes experience an overview effect1. Apparently, seeing the Earth as an enclosed, finite, resource from space changes their perception of the planet, the people on it and how we are all connected. It is a powerful moment a great majority of us will never get to experience.

But does this mean we, the non-cosmonauts, cannot comprehend this feeling? Does it really take being in space to understand that we are all connected and living on a small planet floating in weightless space – roughly 40,000,000 kilometers from our nearest, uninhabitable neighbour.

Take a moment and think about the true size of our planet – think about how we’re all in this journey together, regardless of country, race or religion and perhaps your own overview effect will take place. Learn to manage this effect, and bring up that feeling the next time you’re waiting in line at a bank, or sitting in traffic, or arguing over petty little things2. You’ll be amazed at how minor everything becomes. Just a thought.

1^ Frank White “The Overview Effect – Space Exploration and Human Evolution” (1987)
2^ Petty Little Things (Kickass Debut Album of The General Electryk. That’s right.)