We fret over hurt feelings. We war over land control, water, leadership.

We hold grudges, harbor ill will, remember fights in exquisite detail but forget the beautiful moments, like a note left in my sock drawer when my husband leaves for a week, telling me he loves me and misses me already.

Decades pass, and we still hold on to little, tiny, petty moments.

We must think we are so important.

Do you realize how little we are? How insignificant? Mere specks in time, specks of dust wisping away in the maelstrom of existence?

So why are we so worried, fraught, puffed up like a peacock spreading its beautiful colors?

Yesterday, my friend Neal Rubin wrote this compelling story about our place in the universe. (Watch the video here.)

It’s a video that gives to-scale perspective of Earth in the solar system, and you see this beautiful, shiny marble rolling over cracked desert floor, and you come to see how small our planet is. At scale, you couldn’t even make out a single human with the naked eye.

“I have the world in my pocket somewhere,” said the filmmaker.

There are only 24 people, out of billions, who have seen the full circle of the Earth.

“We are on a marble floating in the middle of nothing.”

“You can hide the whole earth behind your thumb, everything you’ve ever known…it’s staggering.”


Every day there is the opportunity to face off with someone over something that really does not matter. A kids’ soccer game. What someone else thinks of your leadership. The way a caterer handles a billing matter. The management of the warehouse where we are hosting my daughter’s bat mitzvah. (Hypothetical, of course. LOL)

I see little glimpses of controversy and turmoil in my every day and they are so incredibly silly. Insignificant.

Just like us.

It makes me wonder why we are on this Earth in the first place. In what way can we impact the existence of time? How can we truly leave a mark on the universe?

No, bring that down. On the world.

On our country.

On our community.

On one other person.

There you go. That’s the point of it.

And so I think about the conflict in Syria, with a horrible regime killing its own people for years on end and nobody cares, and fanatical militants rising to oppose the regime, killing people with the same aplomb.

I see people running with only the items they can carry, dragging their children along to another country and waiting for refuge in a safer place, to start over.

I see people in those safer places getting nervous about letting foreigners in, making stupid stereotypical assumptions about their intentions, and hear the political fire flap about between parties and people.

All for what?

We are on a marble floating in the middle of nothing.

When I think of the atrocities committed by humans, I can only shake my head. Words do not come. The way media skew what is happening in Israel – it’s not person against person, poor helpless Palestinian against big, strong Israeli. No, it’s mothers and fathers and children, trying not to get stabbed when they walk to a holy site to pray, to school, to the grocery.

You can hide the whole earth behind your thumb, everything you’ve ever known.

We are so tiny in the scheme of things. And yet, we make too much of our presence here. At best, we get a good 100 years, and for most of us not even that long, while the sun burns on, lighting our way, over millions of years.

We get, at best, 100 years.

We are a speck in the story of time.

So why are we fighting?

Why are we filled with hatred?

Why must we remain bitter inside our locked homes, fearful of what remains on the outside?

The way I see it, all of us little creatures on this marble floating in space have beating hearts pumping blood throughout our bodies. All of us have eyes through which to see a sunrise, ears to hear the clatter of rain on the rooftop.

My 10 fingers and yours look dangerously similar.

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