There are many figures in popular culture and history that I admire, all but a few of whom I will never meet in person. I admire them for their achievements, their insights, their creativity. But I can think of only a single person worthy of the adjective inspiring.
I am, of course, referring to Carl Sagan.
No doubt readers will disagree, citing figures as wildly disparate as Martin Luther King, JR. and Julius Caesar, but I’m thinking of something beyond leadership, something more than uniting an audience to a progressive cause, something purer than mere incitation. Carl Sagan was able to provoke, time and again, that genuine and innocent spark of wonderment and curiosity, a state we take for granted as the cornerstone of our species.
There is no telling how many inhabitants of this pale blue dot have and will go on to do great things because of just such a humble, curious spark.
RIP Carl Sagan.