The Significance of Man

The Significance of Man

April 20, 2020 13 Comments



I was organizing some files today and found this quote from an old post. I recall reading it for the first time and really appreciating the existential nature of it, but didn’t think much past that.


As many of us struggle to find meaning in the world today, the words struck a chord that enticed me to ponder this a bit deeper…

Initially, I took it  as a simple Nihilistic view on the minimal impact a single person has in the greater scheme of the cosmos. Even our brief duration here on Earth means nothing in the timeline of the rocks and mountains that have stood for millenia.

Next to these sentinels, it is easy to recognize how small we truly are. And looking out over the vast expanses of the world, one cannot help but feel like a tiny drop of water in an infinite sea.

And yet when we look into the eyes of another, we can feel the immense impact that one life can have. Each one of us is someone’s child, friend, sibling, mother or father. While we may feel unimportant in the world, to that person, we are the world.

Recognizing this forces us to simultaneously hold two conflicting ideas: That one person means nothing AND that one person means everything. As the original author points out, it is important to acknowledge that both are equally true. There is great virtue to realize how small we are and yet continue on in spite of it.

It is a reminder to constantly remain humble, but be vigilant in our efforts to impact those around us.

Because while one drop does virtually nothing to change the overall size of the ocean, even the tiniest ripples can have an effect.



13 Responses

Tom
Tom

July 07, 2020

Both are true. Time erases almost everything. It’s also important to remember how you raise your kids will send ripples throughout eternity. Choose wisely.

Morgan Neuman
Morgan Neuman

July 07, 2020

This is an interesting sentiment and one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’ve just started at a new job and feel fairly insignificant in my new company/ work place. But the other day I had a driver come in with belt that had blown off her engine causing further damage. I was able to fix another truck that way she could get back on the road while we worked on hers. To that effect I not only kept the company moving and meeting their quotas and on time movements. But I was able to get her home for her first mother’s day as a grandmother. Did I make a huge impact to the company as a whole, no probably not but I did keep this particular part working.

Tj Dye
Tj Dye

July 07, 2020

This was an interesting read. I agree as such a small being in the bigger universe we could easily be considered nothing. But if you take a full class of water and add a drop more it could over flow thus causing big change. I also though it was a though to bring up a mans actions. For example we can take 3 men put them in the sam situation and get 3 out comes. If you look at our forefathers most wouldn’t know the “man” but the actions of that man ! Looking at the quote you could simply take its as a higher form of thinking and the acknowledgment of the fact and not denying it. Similar I guess to is it worst to live life not knowing your crazy or being crazy and knowing it

Stephen
Stephen

July 07, 2020

Humility is becoming a scarcely seen and held virtue anymore. Rampant toxic individualism preaches you do you, anything goes. Just feel good.

Louie
Louie

July 07, 2020

Your right on your view. Every man is different but we should all share a few universal traits, humility and humbleness. We have the power to be useless or useful. If you remove all the water from a glass of water one drop at a time eventually you have an empty glass. This to me means my presence in this world is to just exist and create an existence at the same time. None of us have the power to affect the whole at one time but we can affect one another which when spread eventually affects the whole.

Pierre Matthieu
Pierre Matthieu

July 07, 2020

perhaps that we are capable of thinking ( reason, philos) as to questioning our place in the universe and this planet and knowing how small we are as mentioned to the compare of the mountains . that awareness is what makes us significan.

Lenny B
Lenny B

July 07, 2020

It is a reminder to constantly remain humble, but be vigilant in our efforts to impact those around us.
Because while one drop does virtually nothing to change the overall size of the ocean, even the tiniest ripples can have an effect.—-JT
As I read the quote these thoughts were swirling around in my mind almost exactly. Then I came to the above and realized I cannot possibly expound further without plagiarism. I mean right down to the drop and ripples having effect. Hats off !!

Anthony Truppa
Anthony Truppa

July 14, 2020

Yes, 1 man is a mere drop of water in an ocean, but what constitutes an ocean but a multitude of drops within it. Mans significance shouldn’t be measured against the creations of nature but what man creates from nature.

Man comes into this world naked and with no knowledge but as he develops he learns and grows with nature as his backstop. In time, as he develops he learns to conquer nature and make
nature his servant. Early mankind used running streams to power simple machines, wind to turn windmills and domesticate wild animals for his benefit.

Besides all this man learned to work in cooperative endeavors with other men for the mutual benefit of both.

Hail mankind as Gods most magnificent creation!

Mano to Mano,

Anthony

Anthony Truppa
Anthony Truppa

July 07, 2020

Yes, 1 man is a mere drop of water in an ocean, but what constitutes an ocean but a multitude of drops within it.

Joe Mowery
Joe Mowery

July 07, 2020

A butterfly flapping its wings in the east may cause hurricanes in the west.
In the grand scheme of things we as individuals are insignificant. Our actions on the other hand and the legacy we leave behind can have long lasting effects on the future generations.
Charlemagne was a great conqueror and ruler that set the stage for nearly 2,000 years of history. But it was the unknown men and women that fought loyally alongside him that allowed his conquest to take place. It was their actions that placed him on the throne. From that moment the future of all the nations of the Western Hemisphere were set in motion.

Richard Yager
Richard Yager

July 07, 2020

That’s interesting I definitely have to agree that it’s about humility

Erica
Erica

July 07, 2020

“Always choose influence rather than power. It helps change people into people who can change the world.”
― Jonathan Sacks, Lessons in Leadership: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible

Good article☺️.

JL
JL

July 07, 2020

Good food for thought in these times

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