Together, we, mankind, of many races, creeds and cultures, stand on the fragile and precarious crust of this undulating Earth.

To look down, at the ground beneath our feet, we can see the histories of human achievement, greatness, intelligence, folly, cruelty and waste.

To look around us, we can see where we have been and how far we need to go. Always humble, never cocksure, mankind has only been on this old earth for a very short time.

We have much to learn. Our technologies are amazing but hubris can make us blind. We have yet to end hunger. Many still thirst.

To look up, takes us away from ourselves to ponder a greater glory. The immensity of a night sky full of stars invites wonder. The spectacle inspires awe and appreciation for all of the beauty that surrounds us.

To look up, glorifies the discoveries we have yet to make and galvanizes our will to seek, explore and design.

Photographer works near the Keck Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea. 9 april 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Telescopes on Mauna Kea.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Ancestral Mauna Kea is sacred to an indigenous few, yet those spiritual values are shared universally. I can think of no greater tribute to humankind, than an eye to the universe and a hope for humanity.

Mauna Kea is that altar. The Thirty Meter Telescope is the Hawaiian gift of Aloha to the world.

This is how we can best honor our ancestors, with a look to the future.

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