Sometimes, when things are tedious and saddening and gray, it’s nice to remember all the amazing things about the Earth.
Like how the water you drank this morning has traversed the oceans and rivers and lakes and glaciers of this planet since it was created. Like how a snowflake you caught on your tongue floated down from a cloud and happened, by chance, to land right in front of you. Like how the Earth itself was created out of stardust, out of outer-space travelers, out of chance and luck. Like how life rose from particles to cells to fish to humans, and how those humans grew to conquer the elements, to flirt with the edges of their understanding and broaden their horizons.
I hate the Ancient Aliens TV show for many reasons, of which this is the most prominent. Why don’t we give our species any credit? Can’t we take credit for being the sole species to imagine, design, and build the pyramids? To create vessels that can transport us through land, sea, and air at remarkable speeds? Can’t we be proud of our species for all it has accomplished? For landing on the moon?
Yes, acknowledging the badness of our species is important, but so is acknowledging the goodness. Humans are amazing. We work together to create things we never could alone. We are amazing thinkers, creators, inventors.
When you’re feeling discouraged, try to remember: it was a group of humans no more special than you that invented photography, and that painted the Sistine Chapel, and that built every monument in the world. Aliens didn’t do that. WE did that.
It’s easy to forget. To take things for granted. To focus on the negative. To see yourself as separate from the thinkers and the doers. But you’re not. You have a universe of potential humming in your fingertips. When that potential is used for good, you become amazing.
If you’re inside, align your vision for a moment so you can’t see any windows. Almost everything in your sight was created by other humans.
I find that inspiring.