Life on a tiny, pretty blue pea

William Liao
2 min readMay 26


Neil Armstrong said of his experience looking at the Earth from the moon, “It suddenly struck me that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, small.”

Everything becomes less significant from a certain vantage point.

We don’t have to go to the moon to appreciate this.

117 billion humans are estimated to have walked this Earth.

8 billion people are on Earth now, which means 93% of all the humans that ever existed have come and gone.

Like us, they were here for just a brief time.

Like us, they made mistakes, had dreams, trials, great pains, friendships, and loving relationships.

The idea that we will one day pass the torch and join this ever-growing majority of souls who have walked and departed the grounds among us is as liberating as it is daunting.

While the stories of all past lives have already been written, yours is still in the making.

You can still make choices. You can do and not do. You can regard and disregard. You can stay or move. You can seek safety or take leaps.

This is the only moment in the history of the universe where you will get to decide what will become of your story — what your existence on this tiny, pretty blue pea in space will have meant.



William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (