Voyager 3.0

Hello… If you are reading this, you have found humanity's third attempt at making contact with our intergalactic brothers and sisters. I send this essay along with the Voyager 3.0 in the hope that you find it and read it. Our cosmic address is Planet Earth, The Solar System, Milky Way galaxy, Virgo Star Cluster. I know our location is not all that special in the grand scheme of things but before you rule us out as ordinary, please read the following story of mine for this may change your viewpoint of us. I don't know about your planet, but our globe and its citizens are still firmly attached to political distinction and economic supremacy. As a result, small countries and vulnerable people are often bullied and exploited. My country Tibet happens to be one of them. It was invaded and taken over by China in 1959. I was born on foreign soil as a refugee in India and as ironic as it is, I have never been to Tibet. My father fled Tibet in the year 1981 at age 13 with thousands of other Tibetans to seek asylum in India under the guidance of H.H the 14th Dalai Lama and has never been able to go back since. My mother, like me, was born in India and has never been to Tibet. Throughout my life, people would ask me, “Where are you from?”: A question easy for many people to answer but not for me. I would say “I am from Tibet,” but in the next breath I would have to add “but I have never been to Tibet.” People would either frown or laugh hearing that response. That would always be saddening. I was desperately in search of identity whereas most people were entitled to it since they were born. Growing up like that might seem dark, and it was until the Universe found me. I was a small kid (age 8) when my mother showed me picture books of Dinosaur and the next thing I knew, I was attached to it. Memorizing and visualizing different dinosaurs became my favorite past time and digging the earth in search of fossils became my best-loved adventure. With curious ventures like this, I was already in love with science, but it was when we were learning the universal law of Gravity that I realized that science was much more than just 'curious adventures.' It was a way to see universal connections- connections spanning beyond Space and Time. The equations of gravity told me that everything in the universe obeys the same law of gravity and is connected in that way. In some deep sense, I am connected to you and you are connected to me as well. This glimpse of a universal connection started my quest to look for more of our connections. I read books like Selfish Gene, Feynman lectures, Upright thinkers and A brief history of time. I watched youtube videos from the World Science Festival, Vsauce, and Kurzegast. I listened to podcasts such as Waking up, Startalk and Infinite monkey cage. And the more I looked, the more our connections seemed obvious: How we live, interconnected, through a delicate food web, How all of us humans evolved from the plains of Africa sharing the same genetic makeup, and how all of us atomically came from the stardust of distant Supernovae. Only then did I realize how petty our human-made political differences are in comparison to our shared reality of physical laws. In the face of that realization, worrying about my political insignificance seemed stupid. Instead, I started to see how connected we are to each other and felt a strong sense of love for everyone. I also started to see how our actions affect our shared planet and became morally and ecologically concerned about it. So dear Alien, although I have never met you, I still hold a strong sense of respect and love for you. These series of realizations, for me, was an indicator of how strong knowledge of the Universe can be in the service of Unity and peace. That's why I became a ‘Student of the Universe' passionately in pursuit of the physical laws that the universe has to teach us in the hope that I can foster these realizations to create our Universe a better place to live in. So Dear Alien, if you are still reading this, I hope you understand now that our planet is unique not because of its location but because of stories like mine. Thank you for reading, Tenzin Jampa Student of the Universe

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