July 25, 2024

The significance of insignificance

This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward

I don’t know where to begin, for the first time, in a long time, I am struggling to find the words. As I stare at the blank screen and wrestle with my thoughts I am frustrated with the lack of eloquence I know I need to produce but my fingers fail me. Somewhere out there, there is the right combination of words that if put in just the correct order will somehow make everything better, yet finding them is proving far more difficult than I could imagine.
So, rather than argue, kick or scream about the shocking state of anti-intellectual hatred currently at play in my nation I will, if you will indulge me, describe to you the objective state of our reality. We inhabit a small rock, orbiting an average star moving through standard spiral galaxy which careens through a local galactic group completely oblivious to the mote of dust we call home. Every hope, every dream, every tragedy and triumph which our specie has produced takes place on this insignificant pebble.
The painful philosophy about our lives is that in the cosmic realm we must accept a reality in which we do not matter. Advanced monkeys whose genesis and apocalypse will occur somewhere in the march of time and long after we’re gone, planets will still form, stars will explode and the space we once inhabited will be left dark and alone.
We unify behind banners of philosophy whether religious, secular or political and vilify those in disagreement to justify the divinity of our own. We beat our chests under our banners while we cower in our ignorance, casting out those who dare to reject the pundits and educate themselves reading worthwhile books and speeches. So desperate we have become to be told what to believe, that we surrendered our ability to reason for ourselves between right and wrong.
So we fight wars, with guns and words against any and all who we don’t understand all in the name of anything, just as long as it justifies our hatred. Funny, we find ourselves thinking our conflicts are new, like the final fight between good and evil is some far-off battle, yet as time goes by, we fade away along with our conflicts and the new inhabitants of our planet wage their own until we destroy ourselves or our world can no longer support life.
On this insignificant spec I exist, here and now, and the tragedy in our present is that we can’t seem to understand that the lives of others matter just as much as our own. We dehumanize people with terms like “illegal alien” and I have to wonder how we came about such ridiculous and demoralizing terms. Like the geography which one is expelled from a vaginal canal should hold any credence in the legality of their present locale on a planet which they have just as much claim to as any other.
Of course I’m disappointed with the current political state of my country, but true change has and will never reside in politics, true change is brought about by activism, by those who will take a stand and fight with their minds and hearts for a better tomorrow. It is likely I may never make a change of any significance in my lifetime, but can try and that in itself is worth the fight. Each and every one of you, is worth the fight.