We are Specks

The Milky Way

I remember once, while camping on the Oregon Coast when I was younger. I had to get up in the middle of the night and I was blown away by all the stars I could see. Being common city folk, I had never seen that many stars at once.

I had a similar experience to this when I was older. Again, I was out camping. This time it was at the base of Mt. St. Helen’s just after my senior year in high school. We camped there the night before climbing to the summit of the volcano. That night again I had to get up. The combination of the rarefied air at higher altitude, lack of city lights, and no moon gave me a mind bogglingly incredible view of the stars.

Mostcow at Night

The thing about looking at the stars, you start to think about how incredibly small we are in this universe. We are specks on a speck going around a speck that goes around a larger speck full of specks and there are billions of those large specks. Yet…then you look at the man’s accomplishments. Though we are small specks on a much larger speck we have made a huge impact on our speck. We have spread across it. We have leaped off it. There isn’t a portion of our speck that has felt our impact from the bottoms of the oceans to tops of the highest mountains. We can and have impacted all of the Earth. It is as if we are meant to have this power to transform this speck.

We haven’t done a great job taking care of our speck. Our bad habits are starting to crowd us out. I take courage from our impact, however. Though we have huge momentum to overcome, we can turn things around. These little ants can change things for the better.

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One thought on “We are Specks

  1. I agree, there is nothing like that feeling of clear skies and deep darkness to make you realize how inadequate our conceptions of scale are. But it’s nice to think not of being a small speck in a large universe but of being one of a zillion equal specks that make the universe what it is.

    For those who don’t want to get cold and sit in the dark there is this site, http://htwins.net/scale2/ , which will let you explore the size of things with your scroll wheel.

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