Image credit: NASA
It was in the stillness of the night that I came to realize what it means to exist. It was as I witnessed the stars more clearly than ever before, unimaginable distances away yet brighter than ever before, more constant and vast than anything I knew of, that I became at peace with the knowledge of my insignificance. It was as I watched the moon display a bold, blood red and seemingly disappear into the black void of the night that I realized how insignificant one human being’s, or even humankind’s, existence is within the largely unknown universe.
Consider this: you are one person of 7.1 billion within a city within a country within a continent within a world that is hurtling across space at thousands of miles an hour. However, even those measurements themselves are creations of the human mind; in the insatiable thirst for a meaning, we impose meaning upon the constant. Perhaps this is really all humanity can aspire for, the ability to understand and utilize that understanding. Yet perhaps even understanding is insignificant; we know of the existence of habitable planets but are unable to explore them. We are able to understand the struggles of the minorities, but unable to solve their problems. Although tonight, millions watched the cosmos’s display in wonder;even the homeless have access to the sky, and in the awe of our existence, we are equal. We can war with each other and discover cures for disease and love and hate, but once in a while we stop and admire the stars and ponder.
It is quite daunting to think that the song that reminds you of home, your traditional Sunday morning breakfast, the comfort of a loved one’s hug, the time your heart and soul felt shattered into more pieces than there are bones in your body, the entire human existence itself is the blink of an eye to the universe. Perhaps this means we must savour our existence even more, for the cosmos will consume us before we can even comprehend it, and perhaps all we can ever hope for is to be an exciting blip on the boundless expanse of history.