18. Make Space for Space
Good morning and welcome to your eighteenth meditation. Do you ever think about space? No, not that extra room you wish you had in your home to store stuff, but the incomprehensible vastness of outer space. You may be thinking, “isn’t there enough to worry about right here on Earth? Why should I spend my time contemplating what I don’t understand and what doesn’t affect me?”. The scope and foreignness of space may indeed make it difficult for us to grasp, but believe what we may, we are most certainly affected by the goings-on of the great expanse beyond our globe. It can be easy to think of our planet as a self-contained world that generates everything we require for life all by itself. But think for a moment more and you realize that of course this is an illusion. The sun provides us with light and heat, and Earth’s distance from it means that we receive those indispensable gifts in just the right proportion. Its light allows the plants that we require for food and medicine and timber to grow. The gravitational pull of the sun and moon are responsible for the tides in our oceans, which in turn affect weather and the habitability of Earth’s climate. And if you want to know what kind of impact a stray celestial body can make, just ask the dinosaurs. So yes, outer space affects us. But what good is it to ponder? To start, thinking about space is a good way to put things into perspective. Perhaps the importance of that argument about politics that you had with your family member that got you both so heated can dwindle a little when held up against the immensity of the cosmos. Perhaps thinking about space can help us to think about Earth a whole, as it appears in the photographs we’ve all seen that were taken from beyond our protective stratosphere. It can help us to see every inhabitant of Earth as related to ourselves, all of us sharing a home, regardless of the imaginary borderlines of nations. It can help us appreciate the paradise that our planet truly is, and as a result help us to respect it and cherish it. And finally, it can inspire you to think on the infinite number of variables that led to our planet being so perfectly suited to harbour life, to consider the lucky miracle of life appearing on the globe once conditions were right, and all of the incredible steps that have since taken place that led to you standing here now, listening to this. It is overwhelming. Beautiful and impossible. And yet, here you are. Living. What unfathomable luck! What an improbable gift! What should one do with such a rare opportunity? However you answer that question, double-check to ensure that you are doing it! Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.