Some of the most inspiring people who have ever lived are not necessarily those who have built impressive buildings or inventions or who have established great organization but rather those how have managed to see the world in a different way than others around them. What makes them so inspiring is that they then share that unique perspective with us, and Carl Sagan was one of these amazing individuals who could see the world in a way that was uniquely his own, which is why his presence is so widely felt still today, years after his passing.
Yes, he wrote incredible books and helped to popularize the scientific community, but his way of seeing things is what made people pay attention to what he was saying and doing. He had a way of seeing the universe with hopefulness and seeing people as important and special. When so many scientists keep their field of study incomprehensive to the general public, Carl Sagan was telling people that they were made of star dust and that they deserved to travel to distant planets. These were ideas that people could latch onto and ideas that captured the imagination of the public.
He had the kind of inspiring speech that isn’t usually seen within the scientific community. His words are repeated with the same kind of reverence that people use with Gandhi’s words or the sayings of Mother Teresa. In fact, many people derive the same kind of spiritual meaning from Carl Sagan’s writings as they do from these spiritual gurus. What makes Sagan’s writing so pertinent is that they appeal to the masses in a way some astounding scientific fact never could, because they deal with the meaning of existence and life and the purpose of humanity. These are questions that people have been asking since the dawn of time, that Aristotle and Plato have written endlessly about and that others have tried to scratch at the surface of in their own limited way.
Sagan made his own scratchings that have been picked up and carried on by his supporters, who could even call themselves his believers. Because what Carl Sagan had proposed to the world is a new way of looking at cold, dry scientific facts. The truth and reality of our world was something he was able to simplify without dumbing it down. People who have read his works are able to feel smarter because they can now look at things around them in the same way that a brilliant scientific mind could. That was Sagan’s real talent- making the impossible and incomprehensible understandable without detracting from its wonder. That’s why his show “Cosmos” was so well received and highly regarded and that is why the same show is getting a renewed life shortly.
Anyone hoping to categorize Carl Sagan’s longevity and popularity may attribute it to a list of writings and television appearances, but that would be missing the important factor of his own unique perspective and how he took that perspective and presented it to the general public.