I wanted to start this blog post by talking about all of these horrible things that have happened lately. A porn star who killed herself, friends who lost their grandparents and mothers. The racial tension in my country. The religious warring in the Middle East, the school shooting in New Mexico.
I wanted to, but I won’t.
I have this tendency to focus in on the bad things, if only for a short moment. I focus on job rejections, I hold on to manuscript rejections with the intent to put them in frames later in life when I’m successful so I can remember where I came from. I focus on those emails or letters and bleed out all of that anger into a new manuscript, which may be rejected. I focus on the bad side of a mixed message sooner than I even hear the good side. It’s a tendency we are all capable of. We are all a victim to.
We live in a world where media and information is processed so quickly that we only have a short about of time to dwell on something before something new comes along and invades the space between our thoughts. In a few days, the news of a school shooting will disappear and no one will talk about it because there will be something new to talk about. A new sexual assault allegation, a new religious war, a new person dead in the arms of their loved ones and with that notion, I wonder.
How long has it been since we have seen wonder?
I don’t mean something wonderful, although those things are often one and the same.
I mean wonder. The word, defined, is a feeling of surprise mixed with admiration at something beautiful or inexplicable.
Do you know how snowflakes form in the sky above?
Tiny ice crystals the float in the sky above when the air is cold, they collide and stick together and eventually they grow heavy enough to fall to the surface of the earth and stick there.
Do you know how supermassive black holes are formed?
Potentially, they came from super massive stars, powered by dark matter that eventually collapsed in upon themselves and swallowed the matter whole. Leaving nothing there but the immense pull of gravity, sucking the light into it.
Do you ever think about these things and give yourself a moment to ponder just how big and powerful the universe we are living within really is?
Each passing second there are things happening inside of your own body that you are completely unaware of. Cells are dividing and dying and multiplying so that over time, eventually you will be a new you. A version of you that is untouched by the harmful hands of life, the scars that you have gained will grow weary and thin, some of them fading out forever.
Beneath the surface of the ocean, deep down in the darkness of the sea there are creatures with ugly faces who do amazing things for the ecosystem. Wolves can transform the surface of the land and the world as you know it will continue to spin around and around.
If I were the man I thought I wanted to be, I would take this moment to tell you that nothing you do today or any day in the future will leave a lasting impact on the world around you because it will still spin. There will still be snow, there will still be black holes.
But I am not that man.
Today I stepped out of my apartment to go to lunch with my friends and saw the melting snow on the ground shining in the sunlight. The bitter air snipped at my exposed flesh, trying its best to leave wounds. I couldn’t stop looking at the small piles of snow that have been left over, most of them smashed from the people living here walking to their vehicles and going about their daily routine. To work or school or their friends’ houses. I don’t know where they go and I don’t need to, to understand what the snow was lying on the ground for.
Each moment in this universe, every passing nanosecond we are presented with chances and opportunities and decisions that we make on a second to second basis without barely a consideration of the result. Of course, some things, the obvious things we must identify and adhere to, large decisions like home ownership, parenthood and our careers. Still, I choose to walk to my truck a certain way. I choose to park in a certain parking space. I choose to pick up my pen and I choose to use it in accordance with this philosophy.
I could do nothing. I could fall into the routine of doing what I have done for years, the same way every day and without care because it will not ultimately impact the course of my life.
If I drink six cans of Pepsi a day, I will get fat. That is inevitable. If I take the same path to work every day, people along that path will begin to notice my vehicle and somewhere within their minds make note of that drive. 12:40 every day a maroon truck drives down Sage Street headed towards the college. The driver is wearing grey and blue headphones and singing lout and sometimes out of key in the cab of the truck. It may be carrying snow, but usually it is just letting a surplus of air spill out of the bed as he drives.
I can do every single thing the same and come to find that I will expect the results, but what if we changed our habits one moment at a time?
Instead of parking right next to the door of the grocery store, park far away. It may have little effect on your own life, but a woman with bad hips may need that parking space close to the doors because it is cold and she is having trouble getting around.
You may not need to save twenty dollars so you consider spending it on a meal or a movie. If you save that money, maybe a twenty dollar need will arise in your future.
You don’t need to say the things you say, but you do. But what if you didn’t?
The whole world will continue to revolve around you whether you choose to let it or not, we are not that powerful, but we are powerful enough to make an impact.
If an asteroid is headed into our atmosphere, a proposed plan to deflect it is to paint it with tiny paintballs, diverting the energy on one side to another. Of course, this would take a lot of paintballs and a lot of time, but theoretically it could be done.
I wonder some days if we are more like asteroids in how we interact with people. Do we allow ourselves to smash into them and make an impact that will leave them changed forever or do we push others away with paint that we have made, afraid of what they would do to us.
We can chip away at things slowly, it won’t hurt us.
The snow falls slowly, flake by flake it collects on the ground until we are left the following morning to look at a blanket of frozen white shards, refracting colors across is surface. The fact that snow can glow in broad daylight leaves something to be said about our world, doesn’t it?
I would assume, by now, that I’ve run out of metaphors for what I’m saying and I can tell you, I’m not.
This world will spin no matter what you do, so I want to pose the question…
Why do anything other than everything in your power to live a good life.
You are in full control of only one thing on this giant rotating marble,
So you are the only one who can change your situation. Good or bad, it will always come back to your choices. You are your whole world. You are the one who is growing new cells every day. The choices you made seven years ago don’t define who you are today,
And that is amazing, isn’t it?
I’ll be uploading a couple YouTube videos this weekend, make sure you’re subscribed to the channel so you don’t miss them!