Some Perspective
1 min read

Some Perspective

We're just a speck.

The most recent episode of Radiolab (a replay of an older episode, actually, but well worth a listen) goes to great lengths to provide a sense of perspective. Not as it relates to COVID-19, but by pointing out just how tiny we are relative to the entire universe. To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson: “We are a speck, on a speck, on a speck, on a speck.”

One of my favorite book passages of all time also tackles our relative size. Here's Stephen King in The Gunslinger:

“The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows.

“You see? Size defeats us.”

Later, he goes on:

“If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through that shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?”