Why do people post pictures of their food to FaceBook?
Why do I do this?
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.
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot
It always has seemed to me that each human being, before going out into the silence, should leave behind him, not the story of his own life, but of the time in which he lived, - as he saw it, - its creed, its purpose, its queer habits, and the work which it did or left undone in the world.
Rebecca Harding Davis, 19th century American author and journalist, and Wheeling, WV resident
Just beyond the edge of our property in 1985 a farmer crossing a field found a rare, impossible-to-misconstrue Roman phallic pendant. To me this was, and remains, an amazement: the idea of a man in a toga, standing on what is now the edge of my land, patting himself all over, and realizing with consternation that he has lost his treasured keepsake, which then lay in the soil for seventeen or eighteen centuries - through endless generations of human activity; through the comings and goings of Saxons, Vikings, and Normans; through the rise of the English language, the birth of the English nation, the development of the continuous monarchy and all the rest - before finally being picked up by a late-twentieth-century farmer, presumably with a look of consternation all his own. Now as I stood upon the roof of my house, taking in this unexpected view, it struck me how rather glorious it was that in two thousand years of human activity the only thing that had stirred the notice of the outside world even briefly was the finding of a Roman phallic pendant. The rest was just centuries and centuries of people quietly going about their daily business - eating, sleeping, having sex, endeavoring to be amused - and it occurred to me, with the forcefulness of a thought experienced in 360 degrees, that that’s really what history mostly is: masses of people doing ordinary things. Even Einstein will have spent large parts of his life thinking about his holidays or new hammock or how dainty was the ankle on the young lady alighting from the tram across the street. These are the sorts of things that fill our lives and thoughts, and yet we treat them as incidental and hardly worthy of serious consideration. I don’t know how many hours of my school years were spent considering the Missouri Compromise or the War of the Roses, but it was vastly more than I was ever encouraged or allowed to give the history of eating, sleeping, having sex, or endeavoring to be amused.