I love stargazing. The brilliant, twinkling night sky entrances me with its immensity, each individual speckle a flickering glimmer of a colossal heavenly body millions of light years away.
Over the years, my passion for staring at stars has led me to conclude three things.
First, you can appear incredibly smart if you convincingly pretend to know and point out random constellations.
Second, girls drool over the men who tell them that their eyes outshine all the stars in the night sky.
Lastly, the universe doesn’t give a fap about any of us.
Reread that last statement and then consider it. The universe literally could not care less about any of us — we are merely a single breath in the grand scope of time. This is easily proven empirically.
On our Earth, you are one of seven billion people in the world, or 0.000000000014 percent of the human population. Earth itself is just one of billions of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The Milky Way Galaxy is just one of over a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. In conclusion, you and I are, essentially, completely meaningless.
What a sobering concept. Whether we fade into the history books or a nearby star decides to explode into a supernova and drench the Earth in a bloodbath of gamma radiation, our lives could not be more futile.
Put simply, if any of us disappeared, it would mean absolutely nil to anyone. The universe will keep expanding, the sun will keep burning and people will keep living their own lives.
However, this notion is not conclusively bad. Actually, it is paradoxically liberating for a couple of reasons.
First of all, it releases us from caring so much about how other people perceive us. If the entire world is condemned to a fiery end as result of our sun collapsing in on itself, then, really, who cares if I look like an anti-social nerd eating by myself in West?
Moreover, with this enlarged perspective, I realize that my time at Union is brief and very few people at this college will matter to me at the end of my life (and these friends probably were nerds too, anyways).
Second, realizing that we are simply temporary flickers in time helps us deeply appreciate every friendship we have.
Having people that will happily divert their focuses from their own brief lives to us is a blessing, because, ultimately, relationships are the only things that make life worthwhile within this cosmic doom.
Besides, when no one wants to hurtle through endless space, sitting on a small rock completely alone — at least do it with someone else, right?
Third and most significantly, the endless possibilities of the universe remind us of the endless possibilities here on Earth. We all sometimes forget that we live in a huge, almost limitless global society with billions of other people. If I don’t get the job I desire out of college, there are 49 other states and 196 countries internationally where opportunities exist.
Even more importantly, realizing the vastness of Earth has helped me realize that no girl is worth stressing balls over. Even if I have met that “one in a million,” then, statistically, there are more than seven thousand girls exactly like her in the world. And, statistically, one of those seven thousand have to be even more desperate than I am — thank goodness that there are a lot of fish in the endless sea of the universe.
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Life is frittered away by details … simplify, simplify, simplify.” Indeed, we often stress over details of school, our futures and our reputations. However, the stars remind us that Union itself is smaller than a speck of dust, and we are even smaller than that speck.
But conversely, the stars should also should drive home that we have but one short life to experience the human condition.
Thus, do not live for the nights that you will forget, because time is too short for drunken blackouts. Instead, live for the relationships and experiences that make life meaningful for you and you alone.
But really, it doesn’t matter what you do with your life; in the end, the universe and I couldn’t care less.