This I Believe

katie - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe

I believe Physics is religion. I don’t go to church because I believe church is all

around us every second of the day. I believe religion is in the sunrise, and in a cool breath

of fresh air. I can find it in a smile from a stranger that I pass in the street. My dog has

religion in her tail when she wags it. My family and friends have religion in their love

and hugs for me. I found religion in some Mexican food I shared with my husband last

night. Laughter for me, is the most ornate cathedral.

All of the above mentioned, and everything else for that matter has to do with physics.

We take for granted that every breath we take contains a million, billion, billion atoms.

Everywhere we look, even when there is something that appears to be nothing, there is

something that has to do with Physics.

Our body that originated in the womb of our mother from just two cells, now consists

of tens of trillions of cells. There are two or three billion cells in just one baby toe. Each

cell contains one hundred times more atoms than there are stars in the Milky Way

Galaxy. There are over two hundred types of cells in our body, and they each know the

job that needs to be done. We don’t even have to think about it. All this wisdom in a body

that is composed of mainly six elements; Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Calcium,

and Phosphorus. Some of these elements were present just moments after the Big Bang.

All of us humans are made up of the same stuff. The stuff that the stars are made of. It

does not matter how much money we make, or how many books we’ve read, or how

many jumping jacks we can do. Our blood and guts are all the same. I believe we can

learn something from each soul we meet. We all are so alike in so many ways, and yet I

have met a lot of people with whom I could not have less in common. Sometimes I must

fight the urge to tell them how I really feel. Sometimes I lose that fight with myself and

say something stupid. Now that I am getting older I try to learn valuable lessons from

these mistakes and keep my opinions to myself.

I find myself worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future, or how I

will possibly get everything accomplished. I spend way too much of my life thinking

about things I should or should not have done, and not enough time living in the present.

I should be thankful that my arms and my heart and my brain still work well enough to

attempt to get everything done that I need to do to make it through another day.

And then I remember my religion, Physics. I learned in class that there are as many

or more stars in the sky as there are grains of sand on every beach of our planet. A white

dwarf star is so dense that a cubic inch of one can weigh as much as eleven thousand

tons, or more. The only difference between a doorknob and a rock are a couple of

protons, and a meteorite could come slamming into my living room at any moment and

blow away any recollection I have up until this point, so it really just doesn’t matter.

What does matter to me of course, is my health, my family, our home, our friends,

and the good fortune we all share. If I have a problem, I must remind myself that this

problem is so incredibly infinitely small compared to the size of Betelgeuse, (700 times

as big as the Sun), or the time it takes light to get to Sirius, our closest star. (Eight years).

I must also remember that other people don’t consider Physics to be nearly as exciting

as I do. Some people have heartbreaking, gut wrenching, crippling problems that can ruin

their lives. I believe that since our lives are merely a spark compared to the age of our

Universe, (13.7 billion years) that the only thing that really matters for our time here is

how much we can help others. The smallest favor can make someone’s whole day. A

little complement can change someone’s whole outlook on life. The slightest signal of

hope can change everything. Since we are all made of star stuff, we have to help each

other shine.