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Insignificant me

I started displaying Covid symptoms on 6th January. As a responsible citizen, I quarantined myself as per prescribed guidelines.

Ignoring the post covid symptoms I plunged headlong into completing the backlog. There were urgent matters waiting for my intervention. I felt heavens would fall if I didn’t strike off the pending points in my ‘to do’ list which had been swelling during my isolation period. After 4 days of exhausting myself, Covid resurfaced its hydra head with such a ferocity that I had to be immediately hospitalized.

Have been introspecting for the last 5 days in my solitary hospital room on the importance I accord to myself. Reflecting on the vastness of the universe in terms of space and time, I am apprised of my utter insignificance in the scheme of things.

Lets consider the perpetuity of time. It takes 225 million years to complete one revolution around our galaxy, the Milky Way- galactic year. Since its birth, the sun has orbited the center of milky way 20 times and has another estimated 25 revolutions left.

The last time the earth was at the current location in its galactic revolution, dinosaurs were beginning to walk the planet. They roamed the planet for 165 million years. Compared to this, first human beings emerged just 3 lac years ago. In terms of time, our entire species has just existed for 0.002% of the life of the universe since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

Similar is the vastness of the cosmos. The observable universe spans 28 billion light years! It has an estimated 350 billion large galaxies like our Milky Way. It houses 30 billion trillion stars like our Sun. Earth is but a microscopic blip on this large canvas of the Universe.

Carl Sagan vividly put it- Our planet is nothing more than a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Earth is home to 8.7 million life forms. Approx. 2 million of these are animal species. This notwithstanding, the fact is that 86% of land species and 91% of all species have not yet been discovered or described! Of these species, Homo Sapiens form 1 specie with an estimated population of 8 billion. Stephen Hawking rightly said- We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies

I am just 1 of our 8 billion fellowmen. It humbles me to grasp the immensity of space, the eternity of time before me and after me. Since the last 6 days not only are work goals being accomplished, my family is surviving and thriving in my absence. The universe was perfect before I arrived and shall be perfect after my death.

Not for a moment am I advocating lethargy or passive submission. I also understand that everything cannot be measured with size as a benchmark. Every ray of the sun makes up the sunlight and every drop of water makes the ocean. But while we pursue or vision, our dreams and goals with perseverance and passion, can we stop taking ourselves so seriously?

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