For Perspective: (please read slowly) because while we hear these terms used frequently, the difference is
A Million if measured in seconds = 11.5 days
A Billion for comparison = 31.5 years
Some of what is known (so far). Our sun, the source of energy, is one million times larger than planet Earth, is just one of 100 – 400 billion stars in our galaxy, and there are more than 100 billion galaxies, so there are 250 – 300 galaxies for every person on earth and more stars than all the grains of sand on our planet.
If/when two of those 100 billion galaxies collide, there is so much empty space in them that there’ll be no collision of any of the billions of stars in each.
Enough? Don’t know about you, all that is literally incomprehensible to me. But this is not about how small my brain is or about our insignificance.
This is about living on this tiny, tiny, tiny planet in this vast mystery. We have different theories, beliefs, faiths, superstitions (largely determined by where and to whom we happened to be born) about how we got here and about what happens when we leave…but we don’t know. And we’re down here squabbling and arguing and fighting and warring among people, religions and nations about small and often silly differences and viewpoints…instead of working together. There’s so much anger and ranting and divisiveness. It’s ridiculous.
“All working together.” I know, I know I’m sounding even more ridiculous. Almost like that 1971 utopian fantasy by Mr. Lennon “IMAGINE.”
YES, I consciously am. (Disclaimer: OK, lighten up on me, I mean I really did take my three kids to Woodstock, so I was indoctrinated a long time ago). And for those of you who have it all figured out and therefore are cynical about this kind of idealistic thinking, please read on (hopefully while humbly acknowledging that it’s always easier to be cynical). Just give me a chance.
I’m not talking about disbanding our military defense system and flashing peace signs or turning the other cheek as our means of protection. I’m being realistic here, not idealistic. Differences don’t have to divide us. This isn’t about all holding hands and agreeing. This is about identifying the real issue to be dealt with (more about that in a minute) and about respecting viewpoints that are different from our own.
Before we start discussing, then debating, then arguing about solutions to an issue, maybe we’d be better off if we worked together to identify the real problem to be solved. For instance, and I purposely am choosing a few that are really polarized:
Abortion: No matter whose choice it is, no one wants people having babies they don’t want and/or are not prepared to care for.
Guns: It’s not the NRA vs. peace/love confiscators; it’s how to reduce innocent people being wounded and killed.
Climate: Whether human activity contributed to it or not, what can we humans do to alleviate possible future catastrophes?
Just a few (but not easy) examples of the value of identifying the real problem to be addressed while giving us a mutual problem to be worked on together, using different viewpoints. More discussion and problem solving, less debating and arguing. Looking for and finding COMMON GROUND.
So in closing, we’re back to the headline. We don’t all have to agree but we all DO have to find it. We can and the sooner we do, the sooner we all benefit.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one…”