Tiny bits of stardust

You and me, we are all just tiny bits of stardust. A thousand million years ago, a bunch of stars exploded across the Milky Way into a gazillion little specks. You and me are one of them.

It is easy to forget that sometimes. It is easy to forget how insignificant yet priceless we are as we go through the daily grind of making a living and eking out the bills. And yet sometimes when you stop to listen to the birds chirping in the morning, or to stare at the stars at night, sometimes you feel like you’re part of a grand orchestra playing out in the middle of nowhere.

Sometimes you remember that they put you on earth for a reason: to create something of value that will outlast your tiny insignificant lifespan. It could be anything – maybe you successfully defended a PhD and added a tiny speck to the world’s repository of knowledge. Maybe you taught a raggle taggle bunch of kids to reach for the stars, or you built or drew or envisioned something that people could use and admire. Maybe you raised honest and strong-willed boys and girls who will someday do their own great things. Maybe you wrote a song or a book or a poem, and changed someone’s life forever through it.

And what if you didn’t do any of that? What if you passed through the performance sitting tightly on stage, never lifting your trombone to your lips, never playing a note? No one would notice, of course, the orchestra is too loud and magnificent and everyone is doing pretty much what they damn please. No one would notice but you.

Tiny bits of stardust exploding across the Milky Way, you came from great places. It took a million little iterations in time and a thousand million chance occurrences for you to exist in this moment as a sentient being. Make it count.

(In picture: Infrared view of star formation region Messier 8, often called the Lagoon Nebula, captured by the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Source: ESO/VVV)

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