Humbled By the Enormity of Space

Imagine being reduced to a rounding error.

Imagine your whole life. Your parents' lives. Their parents' lives, reduced to a flash, an instant, an afterthought.

Imagine space.

At the risk of sounding a little too deep for a Friday, imagine this NASA spacecraft set to launch Monday.

Its mission: to journey to the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter — asteroids likely formed more than 4.5 billion years ago.

That figure didn't wow me, as much as NASA's little footnote afterwards: 4.5 billion, "give or take a couple of 100 million years."

"Give or take a couple of 100 million years" — as if it was a small rounding error.

200 million years ago dinosaurs roamed this place.

It took another 198 million years before anything close to human form started popping up on this place.

It's as if everything between beasts and Barney was relegated to a flash and everything since… a flicker.

The pyramids, the Roman Empire, the 100 Years War — all wars, all countries, all leaders we've ever known, and likely will ever know, just statistical rounding errors.

If that doesn't humble you, I don't know what will.

In the enormity we call space, we are but spit.

In the cosmos, we are zeroes.

So steeped in the moment that we forget "we" are only the moment. It's not that we're pointless — maybe, just clueless. To the universe we can't help but see, but whose timeless wonder we can't begin to fathom.

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