A Little Perspective

Are you concerned about something in your life right now? Are things in your city or neighborhood a little too much for you? Are you upset that no one is focusing on your issues? Maybe it is time for a little cosmic perspective.

According to Neil deGrasse Tyson, “We are a speck in the middle of a cosmic void.” In an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Neil puts our life into perspective. Through the rings of Saturn, Earth looks like a little speck of dust. We are on that speck of dust and do not even appear as a speck of dust. Seeing the Earth from Saturn, we see how truly insignificant Earth is.

When things feel urgent and overwhelming, remember that you are not even a speck of dust on a speck of dust. Whatever feels so critical right now, has no significance in the universal historical timeline. We have created importance for events in our life, but in the overall scheme of the universe, it is not significant.

earth through saturn's ringsBut don’t lose faith and think we are unimportant. Neil goes on to say that looking at life through a cosmic perspective, “our ingredients are traceable across the universe.” The matter that created life, our life, was once part of a star that exploded. We are part of the larger whole. Our essence, our being is the result of the universe. We are an element of this larger whole.

I love the way Neil, in just a few moments, shows humanity’s insignificance and yet it’s grandeur. In the larger universe, we are nothing. We are not even a footnote. We are undetectable. And yet, we are of the universe. We are created by stars. We are special in that so much had to come together to make us.

To bring this around to your life, look at your worries. Realize how small they are in comparison to the universe and also how temporary they are in comparison to the larger scheme of things. Your issue at work, with your finances, with your loved one is a blip. It is not the end of the world. In fact, it is not even significant in perspective of the known universe. Breathe, relax, work through what you need to work through, but don’t create a mountain out of a mole hill.

Also, don’t walk away from this post thinking you are not important. You are. You are special. So many elements had to come together to give you this moment of life. Remember your significance. There is a reason stars exploded to create the elements needed to bring about human life. There is a reason your biological parents came together to bring you life. Don’t miss out on your chance at this life. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to be alive in this world at this time. Make the most of this opportunity by giving of the special elements which comprise you. Your gift may be to make life easier for others through social or political change, or it may be to share your smile, your song or your words with others.

We are small. We are special.

2 comments

  1. I totally see what you’re trying to get at here. It’s not that we’re insignificant, it’s just that the issues we perceive are (other than the more severe ones with health of course). The rest are just learning opportunities.

    Great article. I think the mental battle is important to take control of before trying to make any life changes, so it’s a much welcomed discussion. Thanks Melissa.

    1. Yes, you have it right Sam. So often challenges in our life are seen as enormous and either consume us with worry or devastate us. When we can see our lives in perspective, it can relieve some of that stress. I agree with your “mental battle” comment. If we first worked out the challenges in our own minds – perspective, judgments, fears – we could be more efficient, effective and happy in our lives. Glad you found value in the article. Have a great day!

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