Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Relativity of Life

There are different ways of looking at life, and I like to offer one that compares human life to everything else, which I will call Relativity of Life.

Life seems tough at times, for no good reason even or for reasons created by human or yourself. It's silly why human, with their intelligence, could not create a life that continues to become better and simpler. I will say life has definitely become better in some ways, but it is definitely not simpler as everything is becoming more complicated. There are so many things that you need to do but doesn't really add value to your life, or so many things that you want to do but don't have the time or it isn't the right time. Just blah blah blah. At times like that, it helps to put things in perspective, or relative to other things.

Let's compare human life relative to:
  • An atom: Everything is made up of atoms, we are not so different after all. An atom is made of other smaller particles, and then many atoms make a molecule, and then cells, and finally life. There are so many of them in you, and you are simply composed of them...
  • A dust: It's everywhere, and so are we. It's not alive, but we are, yet both are composed of the same basic elements.
  • A life form:
    • A tree: So useful and gives us so much. Give and give and never asks for anything in return. 
    • An ant: Both are alive, just different structure. Both are intelligent in its own ways. We can squash them and they can bite us.
    • A tiger: Same thing, but we can eat each other. One is better at physical prowess and the other is better mentally. 
    • A blue whale: If a whale could walk, we would be the ant.
    • Another human: Same in every way, just different thoughts and different quirks thanks to evolution of life. 
  • The Earth: It's alive in its own way. An ecosystem that supports life. It's hard to imagine there are 7 billion people and many trillions of other animals, insects, and other life forms. At this point, life of a single human becomes less relevant.  At some point, we are gonna run out of space on Earth...
  • The Solar System: Just a dozen planets around a single star. Can't wait to visit other planets.
  • The Galaxy: ~100 billion stars, like our Sun, each with its own set of planets. Amazing.
  • The Universe: So vast, so unimaginable, is there an end or a start? How can space be infinite or finite -- both seems impossible? Why are we so worried about resources on Earth when there are so much out there? The entire human race, even the Earth/Solar System/Galaxy, is effectively nothing at this scale.
Let's take a look from different stages of life:
  • Birth: Despite all that we know, this is still amazing how a life can be created from a sperm and an egg, and then developed to an infant after 9 months in a woman's womb.
  • Living: So much to explore, so exciting, sometimes daunting. Feels long but relatively it is so short.
    • Infant: So new to life and dependent on the parent. Poop machine!
    • Toddler: Started to develop mentally and sees everything in the world as new, exciting, and fun. So pure and innocent. How the heck did we manage to loose those traits as we grow?
    • Teen: Still have a bit of purity, but thoughts are becoming tainted with emotions -- good or bad.
    • Adult: So serious... 'nuff said. Let's take a look at different roles:
      • Student: So much to learn as learning never stops.
      • Worker: So much to do to make money to support other activities. Could be exciting to build new things, or stuck doing repetitive work that a machine can do better.
      • Spouse: Your other half that completes you and makes life more fun or crazy.
      • Parent: So much to do to make sure your kids grow up healthy and capable. Your kids depend on you.
    • Death: And finally everyone dies, so just take it easy and enjoy life.

    Overall, life is insignificant compared to the vastness of the universe or the ubiquity of atoms, so do whatever you want. Relative to other life, life becomes more significant and especially as a parent where you have kids depending on you. At the core, as a colleague once said frankly, "There is no meaning to life. We are just wasting time until we die." While that's a bit cold but it is the truth. It doesn't necessary mean we should just "waste" it, as from another perspective, "Life is precious, so make the most of it, before you die"

    So look at life from different perspectives or relatively, so you get the most out of it -- and no, thinking of only yourself doesn't give you that. If time is tough when trying to get what you want, don't worry about it, just relax as nothing really matters -- you just think it does cuz evolution requires it. :) If you still want it, never think you can't, but you will need to tough up, do a ton of work as you need to compete against 7 billion people, and then you will get what you want. Laziness / talking won't get you there. Just relax and do it.

    And Happy Thanksgiving! :D Relax & go enjoy your life!

    This is part of the Essential Life Skills blog series.

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