Whenever I get a little lonely, or I start to feel like I’m not part of something important or great, I look at the Hubble deep field photograph and imagine myself flying through it.
If you're not familiar with the deep field photo, NASA pointed the Hubble telescope at what looked like an empty area of sky, a tiny spot far smaller than the size of the moon as it appears to us on Earth. They let the Hubble sensors gather light for ten days, and the telescope captured a gorgeous photo full of literally thousands of galaxies. Every speck in the picture is a galaxy, with only a few exceptions. I think it's the most profound picture ever taken, and I have a giant tapestry of it hanging on my wall. I use that tapestry to picture myself flying through at great speeds.
As I fly and look with awe upon the thousands of visible galaxies that represent only a minuscule spot of the night sky, I remember that in the grand scheme of things, my problems and concerns are insignificant and unimportant. This is comforting.
Then I turn back and realize that on the tiny, insignificant pale blue dot I call home, life thrives. And those lifeforms have created beautiful things like art and music; they embrace with reckless abandon heady concepts like love and goodwill; they live in a place full of natural beauty and wonder.
And it makes me proud to know that I am not really alone. I am, in fact, a part of something important, something great, something significant even in its very insignificance.
At this point, I can return to Earth with a clear conscience and a new sense of purpose.
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