The Joy of Insignificance
The sheer size of the universe is so vast that humanity has spent centuries trying to comprehend it. Our entire planet is a mere speck in the grand scheme of things. The length of time that humanity has existed is a mere blip compared to the infinite age of the universe around us.
When you think about how truly, truly massive the world around us is, a single human lifetime feels so small.
So very, very small.
What is a hundred short years when compared to the billions that have passed already? The unlimited aeons that stretch out before us?
Contemplating the utter magnitude of the universe can be daunting. It can be difficult. It can make you wonder why you even bother – all the people who know you, all the people who will remember you when you die, will all be gone in the blink of an enormous cosmic eye.
Thinking about how you compare to the rest of existence isn’t always nice. It’s not enjoyable to feel small or helpless. To feel as if you could work and strive for your entire life and still only make a tiny dent on the parts of the world in your immediate vicinity. It can be enough to make you stop and wonder if it’s worth going on when it all, eventually, whorls down into nothing.
It’s easy, when faced with your own objective insignificance, to be afraid. Or sad.
But being small doesn’t mean you can’t do incredible things. Just because the immediate difference you make might only resonate a little bit, that doesn’t mean it’s not still worth doing.
When the rest of the universe is indifferent to your existence, then you have total control over what you do.
The universe doesn’t care what you do, so you can do whatever you want.
You get to choose what matters, and only you.
Every time you fail it is going to be forgotten. The rest of the world really doesn’t care as much as you fear it does. There is nothing that can go so wrong that it won’t one day be as much dust as everything else.
Your mistakes only have an impact if you let them. You can choose to let them bother you, or you can choose to learn from them, cast them back into the past and carry on into the fresh newness of the future.
They don’t need to be important otherwise. The only thing that makes them cling to you is your own inability to let go. They will only hang around as long as you choose to let them.
Instead, you can choose to focus on your achievements.
Let them be your priority all the time. Dwell on the things that you are proud of, that you can see making a positive change in the world, that you love about yourself and your influence. Find something you enjoy doing, something that makes the people around you smile, and put all of your time and energy into it.
See the way the joy you bring to yourself and to others ripples out around.
Step outside of yourself every now and then and just enjoy your own happiness.
The only things that are really significant are the things that you want to be. You are the person who will be most affected by them and so you have all the control.
You matter to you. That’s enough.
If you are lucky enough to matter to other people, to have people in your life who matter to you, you are blessed. If the things you accomplish matter to even a single other person, then why waste your time caring about the rest of the universe?
You probably won’t change the world. You definitely won’t without a lot of hard work.
But that’s okay.
Not everyone has to change the world. Not everyone can. It’s not really possible.
But you can change a single person’s life with a kind gesture. You can change the way a community functions with a little effort.
If all you can manage is to brighten one person’s day, then you have already lived a life worth living.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.