I often wonder, "Why are we here?" What's our purpose? Sometimes life feels so simple. For example, when I make a pot of tea, I heat the water, place the leaves in the cup, pour the boiling water over the leaves, and then drink the tea. Simple, purposeful, and easy to understand. But other times, life feels like a total labyrinth, a tangled fishing line, leading somewhere scary and foreign and I wish I understood it better.
A week ago, I discovered this gem of a video featuring the voice of the late Professor Carl Sagan. In it, Sagan is talking about a photo taken by the Voyager 1 space craft as it transcends the edge of our solar system. From a distance of approximately 3.7B miles, Earth appears smaller than a single pixel. I highly encourage you to take just three minutes out of your day, and watch the video yourself.
Sagan's words are simultaneously beautiful, thought-provoking, and humbling. Astronomy has that power. The more we learn about the unknown, the "smaller" we feel. But this feeling of insignificance isn't a feeling of inadequacy; just an oddly satisfying, calming, small. Like a heavy burden has been lifted off your shoulders and you finally can breathe deeply with relief.
Finding Our Place
So, what's "our place" in the world? The answer is probably as personal to you as it is to me. Logic or cause-for-effect, would suggest we're the result of some unknown purpose. Confusing as this is, it remains one of life's true mysteries, an equation unsolved, a story yet to be told. My place? Is to just keep asking questions. I'm an urban-dwelling, unmarried, young professional. I'm not pretending to possess wisdom beyond my age, but I do appreciate how very little I actually know. I'm reminded frequently to look at the big picture, like Sagan's blue dot. This motivates me, fills me with purpose, and calms my anxieties. As the late Steve Jobs said, just "Stay hungry, stay foolish."