“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Please tell me I’m not the only one with a fear of, yet intriguing desire to understand, insignificance…..Please.
Our universe is virtually infinite. That means what we are doing on planet Earth is virtually insignificant to the existence of the universe. So, what’s the point?
I find myself already thousands of dollars in debt to be handed a piece of parchment that I will hand in for exchange for a job I will probably end up despising and just wishing to retire. What’s the point of that? Especially if it’s not something I necessarily want to do. Every single thing we do on this planet is insignificant to the universe.
That’s devastatingly terrifying and disappointing.
However (Wait- she has a positive to this blog post for once!?), the things we do are significant to us as a human species, if not contributing to the millions upon millions of galaxies out there. We study space knowing in our life span we will not know its entirety. We discover as much as we can and pass it along for the next young minds to pick it up, dust it off, and continue without skipping a beat.
We do things now, so that they will one day become significant to the universe, but also to give our lives meaning and purpose now. Life truly is short and once we realize “we’re not magnificent” (quote from Bon Iver’s Holocene) we begin to understand that we’re part of a whole. Part of a larger understanding. Part of something much much bigger than ourselves. Bigger than we will ever be, ever aspire to be, and ever imagine to be. For some reason, “at once I knew I was not magnificent” and I understood my existence is so minuscule compared to the world, I began to fully interpret my fate- my inescapable doom. It makes me fear death just a tiny tiny bit less (Woah- what?). I think that’s true because this idea makes me, somehow, appreciate life in every way.
It sounds extremely contradicting, I know. But maybe I feel stronger knowing and realizing my insignificance because I know it doesn’t truly matter unless it works out. Unless I want it to.
Just because we’re insignificant to the universe at this very moment in time, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything significant at all.