If you have the courage to open your eyes wide to the realities of our collective existence during this age on this particular blue-green pebble in the Milky Way, you will inevitably find many things to test the limits of your resolve. There are hard truths out there which make it natural to fear the worst. Aside from the comparatively laughable state of our governments, one can simply acknowledge that our blue-green pebble is now packed with more living human beings than have ever died in the history of our species and know that the entire world is as dangerous as it has ever been. It is clearly a most untenable situation.
As complex and interwoven as this untenable existence is, and taking into account how far we are from finding answers to the simplest of problems (like how to stop killing our own kind over superficial and man-made divisions), and it becomes very difficult to imagine a scenario that might possibly save us before we self-destruct. On the level of the individual, it is a concept too overwhelming to accept and, thus, that much less likely to motivate one to change anything meaningful to slow our entry as a cosmic footnote (at best).
This all sounds very pessimistic and terribly morbid and final. From one perspective, it can make a person feel a proverbial weight around their neck. Many do, and that is why our pharmaceutical companies are richer than ever. Another way to view this predicament is that it makes our list of things to worry about pretty short and sweet. Just four things and in this order: love, sex, death, and both last and least, money.
Love is first on the list because it is the basis for everyone and everything we are and do. The people we love from our first day of life until our last affect our every movement. Everything we do is for them, ultimately, in one form or another and this is true of all of us. We are all connected in this way.
Sex is second on this list, naturally, as it relates to love and the obvious reproductive reasons. It’s distinctly separate from love in that it can be used wrongly. It can even be weaponized by people of ill intent. Sex can also simply be for fun and lack the passion of deep romantic love or the possibility of reproduction. Sex is second in importance to love, but not because it can’t have life-changing effects. All the same, at its best it can have life-improving effects, too, and thus becomes humanity’s second priority as the credits are about to roll on our story here.
Death, be it our own or that of our loved ones is unique in that, despite its inevitability and our species’ singular knowledge of it, it never fails to leave a void behind in someone else who never saw it coming. Someone who never contemplated death would come for this person who means so much to them. As far as one can contemplate their own mortality, it’s best to contemplate it very little. That is, if one wants to live their life instead of bemoaning its eventual end.
Very last on the list of things a person needs to worry about is money, as hard as it may seem to some. If a person ever misses any amount of money more than time spent with a lost loved one, that person has no soul. Yes, money is necessary for nearly everything a person could want, but there is a limit to the things a person needs for which money is any use at all. There are very happy people among us on our blue-green pebble who haven’t a cent to their name.
To sum up: we are all going to die, and when we’re gone, the earth will spin on. There’s no stopping it, and it is just a matter how one chooses to view this fact. Will you fight and bash your hands against the tide in an effort to divert a tsunami? Or will you live, and love everyone with a fierceness that will ensure there won’t be a second spent in fear of the end? Let your eyes see nothing but life until the wave crashes and shuts them forever. If you can manage to stay focused on the things that matter, what matter is it how it all ends? We’re all just specks on a pebble anyway. Footnotes.