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The class discussion was

The class discussion was interesting. I was talking to a friend from the class afterwards and she was saying that she felt like, in the end, our ability to understand or grasp the size and depth our universe doesn't do much to affect me. (I use "me" to state the general opinion). It's also pretty overwhelming and frightening to think about just how tiny we are. How "truly" significant is that fact? Not very. All we can know is our little world, a tiny tiny piece of time since the existence of the earth. Since our world is so small, our limitations are so large. All we know is all that CAN be important to us. And, as Julie said, it's HUGE. I don't truly think there's anything wrong with not thinking about it. In a strange way, we're not supposed to.

However, what it can provide for some is perspective. It may be overwhelming for some to think of how truly insignificant one is in relation to all else, but sometimes it's comforting for others. You can think: this problem I'm dealing with now won't affect me tomorrow, next week, next week, in a decade. It's huge in my little world but tiny compared to all else. That is pretty comforting.

I've thought about this a lot, and after a while I came to a conclusion that I'm momentarily satisfied with. I feel like we don't have the knowledge or ability to truly grasp the size of the universe or the significance, since we need to grapple with the hugeness of our own lives. We live only ninety or so years so it's important, I think, to spend that short period of time making all that stuff HUGE. That doesn't mean ignoring our "insignificance" or the importance of the other things around us, because some perspective is nice at times. But to me, it means valuing what you've been given. Or viewing your limited sight as something beautiful because it's all you have at the end of the day. It's sort of comforting to me.

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time worrying I wasn't living my life "fully" enough because I was living a really ordinary lifestyle. But after thinking about it a lot, I decided that living fully didn't have to mean doing crazy or grandiose. It's about perspective. Sometimes that means seeing the beauty in the ordinary. Like enjoying sadness as merely a part of the scheme of things or snow as a piece of this continuous, seemingly eternal cycle. It sounds sort of lame when I write it out but it keeps me happy, and that's what matters, right?

Finally, here is a saying that I like when I DO want perspective:

(That includes the history of the phrase too) Gam zeh ya'avor. I thought it was cool because it expressed the essence of life - whether good or bad, things will pass. That's what this course is about, isn't it? That saying got me through some pretty hard times in my past and humbled me during happier ones. That is all.


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