The Significance of Man

The Significance of Man

April 20, 2020



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.



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