Our Blue Dot

By Cindy Chin, CEO & Founder CLC Advisors, LLC

Preparing for #LucaTweetup at the ESA/ESRIN in Italy next week, I came across Carl Sagan’s wisdom in the words he penned not too long ago and how applicable it is due to recent current events in Eurasia. Sagan’s words echo my sentiments and the spirit in which I choose to participate – with humility, compassion, an open mind, the willingness to learn, and share in the spirit of inclusion. There is work to be done.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

– Carl Sagan

Earth Photo: NASA

Photo credit: NASA

Why You Should Connect with Strangers on LinkedIn

inclogo_smBy Cindy Chin, CEO, CLC Advisors, LLC

Last week, I had a chance to participate in a Twitter discussion with one of Inc.com’s contributing writers, Christina Desmarais. The discussion was about whether one should connect with strangers on LinkedIn, is it the best platform for networking, and what are the best practices in an increasingly “plugged in” world.

As an entrepreneur and person responsible for driving growth and business revenue, networking is vital to the success in small businesses and startups, especially in volatile economic markets. With advancements in technology and growth of social media, the ability to connect with others is literally within our hand’s grasp.

An interesting discussion ensued with Christina and some others on Twitter of all places (post-IPO $TWTR) and here is her article in Inc.com: http://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/why-you-should-connect-with-strangers-on-linkedin.html#! As to whether or not connect with strangers on LinkedIn, the decision should rest on your business model, personal best practices, whether the timing is right (growth stages), and your bottom-line comfort level. There is no wrong answer to this proverbial question.

On a personal and professional note, Christina and I were introduced virtually after the transition of space shuttle Atlantis by my NASA Social colleague Jimmy Lin last year and we did connect through LinkedIn and on Twitter. To date, we have, thankfully, not spammed each other.

You can follow Christina Desmarais on Twitter at @salubriousdish and read her articles on Inc.com: http://www.inc.com/author/christina-desmarais.