I saw one of those “size of the universe” videos the other day – you know the ones. They start out with our Earth, then zoom out and show us how tiny we are compared to other planets in our solar system, then how tiny our solar system is compared to the universe, and then how our universe is just one little dot in a vast, ever-expanding darkness.
Those videos used to scare the heck out of me. And to be honest, a lot of the time they still do. Thinking about how small we actually are is enough to make my stomach drop as if I’m heading over the top of a very steep roller coaster.
It’s easy to watch those videos and wonder what the point of all of this is. It’s easy to witness the pain and suffering and chaos around us and wonder how we fit into all of it. It’s easy to question why we’re even here experiencing it at all. Yes, it’s so easy to wonder what the point is – how could we possibly matter when we’re so tiny compared to the rest of this universe, and only living in it for such a brief time?
But I believe that we do matter. The fact that we’ve created a home out of this weird little space rock that’s warmed up by a big star in the sky – that matters. The way we show up for each other matters, the decisions that we make every day matter. Even if we don’t know why we’re here or how we’re here, the point is that we are here. The point is that we get to wonder about these things.
The point is that we get to love others. No matter what kind of love you’re talking about – whether it’s platonic love, or romantic love, or that overwhelming love you have for your dog when he snuggles up beside you and does that little sigh – our love matters. When we choose to love someone with reckless abandon, even when a small part of us doubts they could ever love us back, that bravery matters. When we lose someone who meant the world to us and feel like a part of our heart was ripped out, that proves how much the love we shared with that person matters. The way that we continue to get up and open our hearts to each other, regardless of how many times we get knocked down, matters.
The point is that we get to create and experience art every day. We’re all constantly trying new ways to explore and share this life that we’re living. Some of us do it with paints, some with our bodies, some through music. Some of us write about it just to try and make sense of it. The fact that we want to make sense of it matters. Our interpretations of what our world is and what it could be matter. The way our hearts light up when we get to share our interpretations with each other matters.
The point is that we choose to believe, even when overwhelming evidence tells us not to. Whether you’re religious, or spiritual, or you think that we’re all just here by some chaotic system of coincidence, the fact that we choose to keep believing in tomorrow matters. Believing that we can love after heartbreak, that we can redesign our broken systems, that we mean something to each other – all of it matters. Whether you believe in something bigger than yourself or you’re the thing that you believe in, that faith matters.
The point is that we get to connect with each other. The kindness we show to the other human beings living on our weird little space rock matters. The way that we treat each other matters. The way that we pull together to create light out of darkness, the way that smiling at a stranger can brighten your day, that feeling we get when everyone in a movie theatre laughs at the same time, all of it matters. The fact that we’ve come together over thousands of years to create the tools and communities and technologies that make up our world matters. The fact that so many of us have a burning drive to make this world a better place for each other matters.
Maybe I don’t have all of the answers. Maybe I don’t know why we’re on this Earth or what happens when we leave it. Maybe I don’t know why truly wonderful and truly gut-wrenching things happen so randomly that it can give you emotional whiplash. Maybe I don’t really know what the point is – but I do believe that there is one.
So, in case you haven’t heard it today:
Your heart matters.
Your art matters.
Your beliefs matter.
Your connections matter.