Trivial vs. Significant

You’ve been traveling for your entire life to get to where you are right now.  Everything you’ve done, every decision you’ve made, every tragedy you’ve suffered and joy you’ve exalted has brought you to where you are right now.  And every single individual in your life has been traveling for years and decades to get to you.  You are the destination of their lifelong journey.  Just as they are yours.

Every interaction you have with someone is at the intersection of two journeys.  Instead of “Hi,” we should be greeting each other with, “Welcome, my friend, to the present.  I hope the roads have treated you gently.”  Every time we talk to someone, we should be treating them as if they have arrived.  “Please, allow me to fetch you a glass of water.  You must be thirsty.”

And yet, look back.  How many people whom you thought were important in your life when you knew them are now no more than trivial bumps in your path?  How many of your old friends and fancies would you leave out of your autobiography?  Most of them?  Nearly all of them?  I talk to exactly one person I talked to when I was in kindergarten.  I talk to zero people from my dorm freshman year of college.  At the time, my dorm friends were the most important people in my life.  Who are they now?

If the people we were so sure were important to us at the time turn out to be mere inkblots in the novel of our retrospective lives, how can we be so sure the people in our lives right now will hold any importance to us in the future?  Is everyone around us that we talk to today just as meaningless as everyone we’ve forgotten from our fleeting pasts?

You arrived in their lives just as they arrived in yours, and disappeared just as quickly.  To declare them meaningless is to declare yourself meaningless.  Most of our lives are brought by chance and chaos anyway.

Are you meaningless?

No.  You are the Universe.

My friends, we are in an existential battle between understanding everything in the world as trivial and understanding everything in the world as significant.  The same process of thinking can bring us to both conclusions.  It’s up to you to choose which to embrace.  Is everything meaningless?  Or is everything meaningful?

And yet, treat a stranger with such weight significance?  Surely, you must be mad.  Treat a friend as if they’re but a trivial mishap?  Surely, you must be an asshole.

Numb disillusionment?  Hyper-drama?  Do neither fit into a world that drifts inexorably towards the blasé?  We have the power to elevate every moment into a milestone.  Every moment of our lives can be the destination of a lifelong journey.  Every person we meet, every action we take, every word we say is generated from the history of the world and the history of ourselves.

And yet, here I am, sitting at a computer.  Truly, a worthy tribute to the majesty of life.

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About Doctor Quack

Just another bonehead with an internet connection.
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5 Responses to Trivial vs. Significant

  1. I liked the irony there, at the end. Great post!

  2. John S says:

    Those people you don’t see anymore are in your memories and are part of what makes you, today. I think. Maybe…

  3. This is a topic I’ve mused upon repeatedly, mostly in the form of: do other people reminisce about me as much as I do them?

    I’ve come to accept people fluttering in and out of my life as just a cold reality of what happens. Would I write about them in my memories, these people who have chosen to move on? Yes, I think so. If not all of them, at least most of them, because they all taught me something about myself or human nature.

  4. foolswords says:

    reminds me of the dilemma, the thought and feeling of not being significant in life i had back five six years back. i just felt like dying. thank goodness i didn’t. otherwise i wouldn’t stumble upon this fine post you have here.

  5. Pingback: Being ‘mickle’ | to the neon god they made

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