June 04, 2010

A Whole Lot Of Nothing

We think we're important.

We think our problems are monumental.

We have massive frustrations and grievances.

So I thought a little perspective might help us all have a nicer weekend.

First of all, let's talk about this place we live in.

We call it the universe. We've all heard about the hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars, each surrounded by who knows how many planets and other objects. And so we think there's a lot of stuff out there. But the universe is so unimaginably large that despite all these objects, it is essentially empty space. Only 0.000000000000000000004 of the universe is stuff. If I counted my zeroes right, that's 4 quintillionths of 1%. The rest is emptiness.

Then there's our planet. All the news we read and politics we practice and conflicts we endure, are about a very small component of life on our planet. In fact, 97% of all the habitable area of the earth is in the oceans. We have almost no contact with the vast majority of life on earth -- other than, from time to time, to spill oil all over it.

Then there's us. We're made of atoms. And 99.999999999999% of an atom is empty. Which means we are 99.999999999999% nothing.

So this weekend, if you start feeling sorry for yourself or whining about your condition, mix yourself a tall one. There's a whole lot of emptiness that needs filling.

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