“By the time we are ready to settle even in the nearest other planetary systems, we will have changed. The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us, the different circumstances we will be living under will have changed us. We are an adaptable species.” -Carl Sagan
Sagan talks from a cosmic perspective. He reaches to the far future, mentioning his vision for humanity in the long term. However, this macro perspective can also be applied to the current situation we are living today. Our well-being, both in the long and short term, depends solely on our capacity to change and adapt.
The Covid pandemic seems abrupt. It made our lives so different from the routine we were used to. I believe this is an example of the “different circumstances” Sagan mentioned. It is through discomfort that we grow and change. We must, therefore, learn from our mistakes and become better as a species. To do this, one of the main things we need to focus on is the re-evaluation of our relation with nature. We must understand that we do not exist separately. Ecology is flow, and we are part of the flow. Our presence is deeply intertwined with everything around us. Our actions have consequences that can alter the giant organism we are part of.
Only when reflecting on this deep connection we have with everything non-human, can we become the species that Sagan once dreamt of. One with “more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses.”