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We were hunters and foragers
The frontier was everywhere
We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky
The open road still softly calls
Our little terraqueous globe is the madhouse of those hundred, thousand, millions of worlds
We who cannot even put our own planetary home in order
Riven with rivalries and hatreds
Are we to venture out into space?
By the time we're ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems
We will have changed
The simple passaged of so many generations will have changed us
Necessity will have changed us
We're an adaptable species
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centuri and the other nearby stars
It will be a species very like us
But with more of our strengths
And fewer of our weaknesses
More confident, far seeing, capable, and prudent
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities
We humans are capable of greatness
What new wonders undreamt of in our time
will we have wrought in another generation?
How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century?
And the next millennium?
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond
will be unified
by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet
and by the knowledge that whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe
come from Earth
They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies
They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of our raw potential once was
How perilous our infancy
How humble our beginnings
How many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.