Do we think of… the end?
There has been loads of talk about the end of the world. It isn’t the first, nor the last, I would suppose. History is filled with “End of the world,” predictions. I myself have joked about it in recent days.
It would all seem so rubbish.
The rapture. Happening at N date, at X time.
How can one wrap around an idea like that?
So far we know, the human race has been around 150,000 years. Not five hundred years ago men sailed the oceans with nothing but the wind blowing behind their back, and a good sail to take them forward.
And where are we now?
Our ships self propel themselves. They dive to the deepest oceans.
Look up the sky, we have planes that 100 years ago would have been impossible. A hundred years! That could be the life time of one person. And we cross continents in under a day, and send men to the moon. We have humans, right now, flying in orbit around the planet.
Humans are able to solve diseases that a hundred years ago would kill people. Humans are able to create virtual worlds, and peer into the heavens, and even land robots in another planet.
And what of the richness of our music; the beauty of our literature and the feats of our media that our ancestors would think magical.
It’s amazing what the human race has accomplished in 2,000 years, has it not?
Amazing, in spite of the atrocities that happen in Darfur every single day. Amazing, in spite of the blood spilled in Libya. Amazing in spite of people living in object poverty, everywhere. Amazing in spite of kids having to swim to school in some parts of the Philippines. Amazing, in spite of walking down the streets of Manila, and we find kids having to beg for food.
We think of the end, and maybe just maybe, we fear, not death herself, but the dying. But have we really lived? Death has many forms. To rot away in the monotony of routine, unable to make difference in a person’s life, is that not death? Unable to make someone smile, ponder, to question, is that not death? Unable to make a difference in the world, however little, is that not death? Isn’t it death when we refuse to live?
The human race has been on this earth for a little over 150,000 years. We know life existed here for millions more. We’ve seen their fossil embedded on the Earth. Great beasts that roamed what were once oceans or swamps. And there are many more lost in the mists of time.
If the Earth could blink, that’s us. the human race right there in that blink. Think about that.
Think about how long each person can live. fifty. sixty. seventy. Some of us go to a hundred. That’s even a shorter blink.
Doesn’t that make you feel insignificant?
Stare up at the night sky, and all those stars up above. As children we’re reminded that they twinkle like diamonds in the sky. When you think about all this creation, don’t you feel like a mote?
I joke about it with friends. I wouldn’t mind pushing the gigantic red button, if there was once. You know? Generate a black hole here. Create a worm hole there.
The end of the world.
Destroyer of Earth.
Kick Ass in the underworld.
There are so many ways to frame how great we humans are. To see a child grow up to be better than who we are is our trip to immortality, is it not?
So if a log fell, and nobody heard it, did it happen?
Who would say a rose so beautiful, if no one is there to appreciate it?
Who then would say, the Starry Night so gorgeous?
Life on Earth is so fragile. Some lunatic for instance could trigger all the nuclear weapons on the Earth, and BOOM we’d all die out. I suppose, cockroaches would inherit the Earth then.
If the end came tonight, or six months from now, or ten years from today, or a hundred years, no matter how simple or unglamorous our life is, or whether you look at it from the big picture human race point of view, wouldn’t you agree that “it isn’t how long one lives life that matters, but how one lives it?” What then do we aspire for on starry night?
Image credit: “The Starry Night,” by Vincent van Gogh, public domain