In 1968, the world was seemingly at a crossroads. Political assassinations, wars, and revolutions brought about uncertainty to an already chaotic world. In Europe, the Prague Spring took place and the hope brought about by the intellectuals in Czechoslovakia was quickly crushed by the Soviet Union. In South East Asia, the Vietnam war was reaching a crescendo with body counts rising and the war of attrition reaching all time highs.
The Cultural Revolution in China was also underway and the suffering it brought saw no limits and no end. In the west, a different cultural revolution was afoot, with long hair and free love attitudes challenging long-held traditional belief. It seemed, at the time, that the world was on fire.
But then, Apollo 8 took the cover picture from the far side of the moon.
It was the first time that a photograph of earth was taken from that distance. And from that distance the trivial problems of one group of humans on one side of the planet had with another group of humans on the other side of the planet seemed so minuscule. The cultural impact of the photograph cannot be underestimated.
Fast forward to 2021 and we once again are faced with a chaotic and uncertain world. The United States is growing through a transition, the pandemic continues to ravage the world and its economy, and the threat of extremism threatens around every corner.
Yet yesterday, NASA landed a SUV-sized Rover on Mars.
And perhaps we will find that the problems we face today are solvable and that our differences our minute.
Now the fun stuff begins. 🚁 pic.twitter.com/q0AWCmgWqW— The Oatmeal (@Oatmeal) February 18, 2021