Ami Ballmer: Star Stuff

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When you consider that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the known universe and hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy, it becomes clear just how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. Your life is just infinitesimal and worthless on a cosmic scale. What you do doesn’t really matter; who you are is of no importance to the universe.

While some people find this severely depressing, I think it’s really, really cool. It’s probably the coolest thing I know, mainly because being insignificant means that you get to be part of this impossibly vast universe full of insanities and puzzles and things so complicated and astounding and beautiful that it’s worth not making a big, universal difference.

Think about the fact that the light from stars that you can see in the night sky is millions of light years old, that Saturn would float if you put it in a giant cup of water, one percent of the static you see on your television is made of radio waves created during the Big Bang, that time ceases to exist at the center of a black hole, that an atom can be in two places at once, and that right now you are moving at 530 kilometers per second. You might not matter much in the grand scheme of things, but the exchange is quite worth it in my opinion.

All the knowledge scientists and astrologers have amassed is a relatively tiny portion of how the universe works. I don’t pretend to understand how any of it works, but there is a constant effort to understand what the universe is and how it works, and even though all the questions will certainly never be answered in our lifetime, if anyone’s, the idea that we are some small part of a universe so diverse and complicated is mind-blowing.

So, don’t feel lost in such huge cosmos. You are a part of something so much larger than yourself, and part of a race born from the universe you are struggling in. This alone gives meaning to life. As the great Carl Sagan said, “We are a way for the universe to know itself … We’re made of star stuff.” 

What do you think?