They call it the Overview Effect. Every astronaut that’s gone up to space and looked back to see the Earth as a pale blue dot hanging in the void has shared the same cognitive shift. They experienced a sense of harmony with their fellow humans and a realization of the fragility of our unique planet—and the people that populate it.
Chris Hadfield spent 166 days in space as the first Canadian to perform a space walk. During his time on the International Space Station, he took 45,000 pictures, most of which he beamed back to NASA.
One day, as he was writing about a picture he had taken of Karachi, Pakistan, it hit him. “I read what I wrote, which was: ‘There are 6 million of us living in Pakistan.’ And I realized that that part of the world had become us for me. Six million of us? When is that no longer ‘them?’ How did that part of the world, which I’ve never even been to, now, suddenly, because of the cumulative effect of where I am, start to feel like us? I think that’s when the world became one place for me.”
Browse the news for 10 minutes, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’re faced with political unrest, poverty, climate change, the list goes on. As human beings, we’re in this together. Regardless of borders, race, religion, or wars, we share a planet as fragile and ephemeral as (as Carl Sagan puts it) a mote of dust, suspended on a sunbeam.
Mahatma Gandhi once urged his listeners to be the change they wish to see. We have the power to incite change and a responsibility to make this world a better place. We can be discouraged by the news stories in our feeds, or we can do something.
We want to give our team the opportunities to be that change with our Giving Back Time Initiative. Starting January 1st, FULL employees are empowered to volunteer a half-day per quarter to support causes that matter (4 hours per quarter, or 1.33 hours monthly).
January is a time for New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement: hitting the gym, trying meditation, eating better. Our resolution is focused on that pale blue dot.
As a company, we want to log 7,500 volunteering hours in 2019. Seven thousand, five hundred hours of helping our fellow humans, inspiring hope, and promoting positive change. Let’s work together to be the change.