In the context of eternity
I’m 160 cm tall, weigh 51 kg, and wear a size 7 shoe. In other words, I take up space.
This gives me the illusion that I’m significant, a permanent fixture on Mother Earth, here for the long haul. My feeling is I’m going to be around for a long time, so you’d better accept that and be nice to me.
But really, in the context of eternity, I’m just a bit of weather. A transient cloud. A splat of rain on a windowpane. A blip on the meteorological screen.
Most of the dead people have never heard of me, nor have most of those still alive. And chances are that those unborn will live their lives without ever hearing me mentioned or seeing my name in a footnote. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that what happens to me is of cosmic importance.
I was toasting almonds in the oven last weekend to put in a salad I was preparing for guests. I forgot to set the timer and a quarter of an hour later was viewing a tray of burnt nut shards. As I had no other nuts to toast, the salad would lack a key ingredient. Disaster! Doom! The world almost stopped spinning in space, which it’s been doing unhindered for 4.6 billion years.
It’s at moments like these that I remind myself I’m just a bit of weather. Transient. Passing through. Just a cloud briefly providing a bit of shade or nourishing rain and then dissolving into the ether.
If you think that’s not a nice way to view yourself, think again. How many partnerships, projects, and picnics are ruined by those who take themselves too seriously?