What does a telescope have to do with happiness?

The one thing that makes me feel the smallest – a telescope.

Imagine all the sand on a beach. Well, If you, me and every other person on our planet were a single grain of sand on this beach, we wouldn’t even cover a square meter of it.[1]

Now try and picture every grain of sand covering the earth. If every one of these lonely grains were instead a planet, we’d still have less sand than the number of planets populating our universe.

When I look up late at night through my telescope, I see the moon, some planets, and – hopefully, one day – an asteroid.

What I also see is how small I really am. How small my world is. How small my life is. But most of all, how small my worries are.

I have always found that I need to feel small before I can experience the wonder that comes as I look out from our planet. If feelings were words, I find myself with a “how the heck am I here, right now, and doing this.” feeling.

We always want to feel big, important and the centre of the universe. The problem is, when all we can see is ourselves, we miss the beautiful things in life.

Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Carl Sagan
Published in Science, Learning, Life, life lessons, Self Improvement
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