Sometimes the Big Stuff Matters

This blog post isn’t really what you could consider a moment of clarity. I’ve always been able (in my opinion) to realize what I have, what I value, and what is around me. Perhaps by knowing what I don’t have, or can’t do. And yes, I am happy in life because I enjoy every day when I can, by recognizing that it’s the little things that matter. From a glance across the table. To simply being thoughtful to another person. But that’s a completely different blog post.

However, sometimes it’s all the big stuff that matters, which makes me value life and feel privileged. Who knows, I could just be a nerd, a geek, and my life and those around me mean nothing. After all, we are merely a single blue marble in this one of many incomprehensibly sized universes and a consequence of science. But I digress, as that topic is also worth it’s own blog.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to travel through space and time to experience history, the future, the exact now and every version of it. I can’t imagine a life where I walk among dinosaurs. Or where I would have been able to travel to a future with technology that I can’t even imagine or understand. Let alone explore outside our galaxy’s comfort zone and personally see stars and their planets up close.

So how can I not realize what’s normal for me is actually extraordinary for those of another time? The big things matter, and they’re right in front of me. In front of you.

Evolution has brought us to a point where we are able to communicate with each other on a completely different level than any other animal out there. Our unique abilities (such as communication and that silly thumb) has resulted in us migrating all over the globe, share knowledge, learn and improve, lose our tail and stand up right. We can make fire, build shelter, and put a god damn person on the motherfucking moon.

I completely realize how early in evolution and how young our species is, our calendar (since we decided to keep track I guess) only counts a few thousand years, heck, the Mayan calendar already ends this year, many thousands of years before that we hardly kept track of anything. We could basically not write or read. And only quite recently (compared to the history of earth as we know it, compared to the age of our galaxy, compared to .. you get the picture) we’ve had an industrial revolution. And only a few years ago we figured out how to connect during web 2.0 while building social networks and put some AJAX in a web page to make it all so much more fun to use.

Another example. In my lifetime computer technology has evolved from a room filled with iron pre calculating no-input to an output. To a personal computer on our desk, to a tenfold of that technology and that speed on a single chip to power a mobile phone; Which by the way, became popular when I was still in school a decade or so ago. How can I not realize that each individual technology in say the iPhone by Apple Inc. is worth billions of dollars? A gyroscope, GPS to help you globally (yes, globally!) position yourself and find (and connect with) others by freaking satellites orbiting this planet Earth. Yes, we found out it’s not flat. Imagine that. Really: Imagine egg-on-face moment for us humans figuring that one out not too long ago. I just can’t get over the fact I am alive during the period where computer technology is not sci-fi, that the Star Trek communicator is basically in my pocket for a few hundred bucks. And the incredible technologies that come with it. A touch interface, battery powered, a very quiet and very fast permanent storage chip, and so much more that we take for granted. Think about it, can you invent this and make this at home? Even just a 150 years ago? That’s a pretty big thing.

How silly are we for sitting on the couch at home watching a movie on the television where we dream about ever seeing a spaceship entering our atmosphere and landing, greeting us and giving us all sorts of knowledge. It is one of the core reasons why I am interested in science, science fiction, and feeds my hunger for exploration.

How silly are we for sometimes not realizing this is already happening. Seriously, this is a big one, and it’s real. No tin-foil hat needed. And please pay attention, because it is big stuff like this that matters. There’s a spaceship in my backyard basically. We have made it, we put men on the moon, we have put satellites around orbit, we landen them on neighboring planets and their moons. A flipping space shuttle was shooting into space. One recently landed with new knowledge. And recently trending on the Internet pictures by you and me of basically a spaceship on the back of an airplane (see pic below). Yup, we got airplanes. Take that birds.

It’s not so silly if it sounds impossible. But we do it. Our life matters because we explore, question what we do and can, and because whatever we’re doing is nothing more but the beginning of something bigger. And none of it would be possible if we didn’t think that sometimes the big stuff matters.

I really can say that I am happy, despite my up and downs in life. Because I can look up to the sky and know where I am (on a planet called Earth in case you missed it), and that a good bunch of those spots out there are not stars but complete galaxies, with hundreds of billions of stars, with probably planets around them. We are so new to this world. And we’ve come so far. I might not be the astronaut that explores the moon, mars, our galaxy, or beyond. But I know it’s possible. We are doing it. That’s a big thing. I might not be able to understand or experience our species, technology, or experience how our planet and everything around it is in the far away future. But I know what we know and do now is major.

I mean, I could just walk to my parents and have a chat with them about this. But because I am alive in this space and time, at this exact now, I am able to write this down and share this with anybody in the world with access to the Internet that’s willing to read it. My parents might think my opinion about life is worth something and help me travel to see the world. But thanks to all the big things that happened in our history it’s now possible someone who reads this all the way at the other side of this planet connects with me and invites me over for a cup of tea.

Anyway, I think it is pretty amazing what we can do, have achieved and will do so much more of, a thousand times bigger and better.