Sometimes, I am struck by the notion of how very small and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of the universe. The thought is both terrifying and intense. Sometimes, though, I think about the scale of my little slice of earth in relation to the rest of it, and the comparison is…surprising.
There are so many of us- of humans. So many people, in so many places, and each of us has a story and a future just as incredibly complex as your own. If you’re interested, the word you’re looking for to describe that feeling is sonder. On the surface, it seems like it should make you feel tiny and unimportant- you’re a speck, floating, with a billion other specks, through an infinite void of potential nothingness from and towards a great unknown. Look closer, though.
First, there’s the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept. The idea that any human being can be connected to any other human being through no more than six intermediate ‘degrees’ (other people, places, or some other general factor that the two subjects have in common). That makes things seem a bit bigger, doesn’t it?
Then, there’s the miracle of the age of computers. My sister is in England right now, and I had a conversation with her just a few hours ago. I have friends in other states and countries that I get to chat with pretty regularly, and I sell knitting bags to people in places like Norway and Australia. The post office makes my international shipping wonderful, too: Almost any country for just $6.55, so my international buyers love me. My association group spans several countries, and I’d like to think I influence those people at least a bit.
You probably want to know what got me thinking about this. I shall tell you. A few days ago, actually the first day after my cold when I didn’t feel like death warmed over, we went to a Mediterranean restaurant to get shawarma. For those of you unaware, there’s a scene in the Avengers where Tony tells Cap that they should get shawarma once they’re done fighting the aliens. He says “I dunno what it is, but I want some.”- then, the post credits scene is all the Avengers sitting around a table in the shawarma restaurant looking all tired and hungry. Exhibit A:
So, since our favorite Marvel superheros eat shawarma- so should I! As it turns out, shawarma is wonderful. It’s basically little meat morsels and some other things served on pita (and anything served on or with a pita is pretty awesome by default anyways). It’s like meat candy! Seriously, go try some shawarma.
The shawarma got me thinking- how incredibly wonderful it is that I can not only find out about other cultures and their foods, but that I can go out and find that food somewhere within driving distance. This, to me, makes the world seem like a pretty small, and also wonderful, place. If I want to try Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese, all I have to do is hop in the car.
I used to spend a lot of time thinking that I was born in the wrong decade. I should so have liked to have been around to witness the 20’s, the 60’s, and the 70’s. I would probably avoid the 80’s entirely, but also Victorian England, man. that would have been cool. The invention of swimsuits that went from your ankles to your shoulders. Yeah, I used to be really hung up on the way things used to be- but if I lived in the 20’s, I’d never have tried shawarma. I wouldn’t have been able to start a very successful business, or meet people from other countries. I actually probably wouldn’t be doing much at all because without modern medicine I wouldn’t be able to feel my arms right now. I’ve come to realize that I definitely belong right where I am- right now, in the present. This is where I can make the most difference, and where I can be the person that I want to be.
I do things like this sometimes- I’m reading in to the shawarma a bit too much, maybe. I love to think about things like this, though. It’s fun to have these little conversations with myself, and I hope I can make you think about some of these things. Maybe you have something to add. If you do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
It’s easy to think of yourself as that insignificant speck, but then…well, then you start to think of yourself as insignificant and that is absolutely no good for any kind of self esteem. I love this modern world, I love how people constantly work to make connections with each other, to learn new things, and to create a better life for themselves and the people they interact with. I love that there is technology that makes these connections possible, and I love being a part of the movement.
PS: Next time, there’s going to be an update on the design side of things. I’ve been working on a lot of stuff lately, and things are starting to come together- stay tuned! There’ll be lots of pictures next time, to make up for the lack of them presently.