This is us. Well, part of us. The world is so big and hangs like a jewel in the night.
Its says that the photo was taken from a million miles away, but I’m not sure about that. Everything we are and will ever be is on this globe. Sure, we’ve flung a couple of objects into deep space, our light and radio transmissions are knocking about the universe, but really, we are self-contained on this planet. That means we all come from the same place, and we will all die on the same place. The space is finite. Maybe that’s why we squabble about it so much.
From where we stand now as inhabitants on this world, we understand much, but not enough, about where we come from. How the planet was formed, how life arrived and our expectations about where it will end up.
As a species we are unique, but only because we store our collective history externally. Here I am doing just that, I’m taking my thoughts and recording them outside my mind. I’ve been doing that for years, and humans have been doing that for eons. I marvel at that.
I also marvel at soda water – it has bubbles.
Another uniquely human characteristic is the questions: When will I die? When will it all end? I don’t think that this thought has ever crossed the mind of a hairy-nose wombat. Not even as it is rolling under a truck as it tries to cross the road.
Since Hilary of Poitiers, not Clinton, mutter in 365 that the world was about to end there have been plenty of speculation about the end date. It would help if someone could check the bottom of the globe for a use by date – currently, as I understand it the world will end in about 5 billion years, so plenty of time to nip down to the supermarket to buy another bottle of soda water.
There’s a list of the end of the world. Have a look. I’ll wait.
The thing that should strike you about the list is that they are all wrong. Every single one of them.
You will end, and the world will end. The chances of both happening at the same time is very unlikely, and even if it did – will you have time to know?
So, here we are. On a planet, with a certainty that we will not get off it any time soon, that we will remain here, with our remains. And yet we can’t help ourselves and fail to see the point of sharing the same space. This little bit of the lounge room is no more mine than it is yours. I like to keep it behind closed doors and keep people out, mostly to hide the empty soda bottles, but to keep my things in one place. The mine concept extends to my suburb, my city, my state, my nation, my world, my universe. Keep out!
If this is all we have, then what are we doing? Why do we hold those in need at bay? Why does my supermarket have bottles of soda water when others don’t? Why, when we understand that our lives are so short, do we take that of others?
How hard can it be?