What is This?

Kelsey - Sunapee, New Hampshire
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

The existence of life has no overall meaning. I realized this when I was seven years old watching an IMAX theater presentation on outer space at the Air and Space Museum in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a traumatic experience for such a young child, but I have had time to reason with this thought. There is no proof that humans have a reason to be on Earth other than to live, reproduce, and keep the cycle going. The same goes for all other life. But when this is over, when the cycle has been finished, what is next? There is a huge difference between life in general and life in the biosphere of Earth. On Earth, everything matters and is reliant upon each other, but in the whole universe, Earth is just a piece of dust. So why are we here?

No reason. The universe is the largest thing we know of but is so vast that no one could ever travel across it. If we sent an outer space probe traveling at 30,000 mph, it would take 150,000 years to reach the nearest star. Looking out at space, one can barely imagine how big it really is. There is no way mankind would ever be able to reach the edge of the universe if it actually exists. If there is an edge, what is beyond that? There is always one more step to go and no answers for any of the unending questions. If the earth suddenly ceased to exist, it would have no impact on the universe. If the death of one unrelated person in the next state has no impact on my life, why would the ending of the world have any impact on anything else? Nothing would change because there is no overall reason for anything at all.

This is an extremely depressing subject that many people avoid thinking about; and for good reason. We are insignificant, which I am now content with, but I think it is important that people at least give some serious thought to the idea. It is scary that such a complex thing such as the Earth and all its components happened by chance and for no reason. This is why many religions were created, to help one cope with the feeling of insignificance. I think the best way to overcome the though is to focus on Earth, not the universe. It is much too large to comprehend and is not something a person can change. On earth though, people can make a difference. Meaning is found within our created societies and forms of entertainment. We are on earth to enjoy life, not to accomplish something any larger than what we can comprehend.

It has taken a long time to understand this thought. I cried on that day when I felt so inconceivably small but since then I have made a difference in people’s lives. Though we are small and there is no purpose for anything we know of, enjoyment can still be had and is what drives life here on Earth. I say; ignore what is too large to understand. Life is here to enjoy, so live it. Do not waste time trying to find an overall purpose because there isn’t one. All we know is that we are here on Earth and should work to enjoy what we have.