So this picture has been circulating the internet for a little while now and I have found it in multiple places, so I am unsure who to give credit to. Needless to say that it is not mine, so I take no credit for it. Now that I have made that clear, I will go on to say that I really love this picture, simply because it is all about perspective. All too often, we as humans like to place ourselves at the top of the food chain, like to think of ourselves as the centre of attention. Essentially, as is beautifully highlighted in this image, we pull ourselves to the top, away from all other forms of life on this planet. We place ourselves into a separate category, a category which we believe to be above and beyond all others. What the second image shows us is that not only are we not above and beyond the rest of the world, but we are in fact very much a part of the world around us. What the image also shows us, is that we are not even at the centre of things. We are simply another part of life.
This, at least to me, seems more like a fact than it does a perspective, for who can deny that we are simply just animals with the added complexity of cognition? Regardless, the point I am attempting to make is that in spite of all of our complexities and higher level brain functions (whatever you want to call it) we often forget what we truly are: part of this world. Something that has become far more prevalent in modern culture is this abnormal kind of isolationism. Basically, people do not seem to be interacting in the same way, instead communicating with technology and even then not really saying very much. Humanity is dependant on social interaction, we are fundamentally a social species. So, we use technology to communicate with other people, thus allowing us to satisfy the need for social interaction, whilst also allowing us to remain physically alone.
I think that this perhaps has contributed to the mindset we currently seem to have, the mindset which leads us into forgetting our place within the fabric of the natural world. Our own problems become dramatised, we lose our sense of balance. Everything becomes invested with pent up emotions and eventually leads us into becoming irrational and perhaps causing us harm. Sometimes, just going outside, just walking around and looking at the world and meeting people in person rather than via a screen can serve to remind us of our place within the world.
Put things into perspective. We are the residents of a single planet and most of us would hardly be considered important on a global level. Then think about the billions of other stars and planets in our galaxy, about all the other galaxies within the universe. Think about it. We are hardly all that important. I am not say that we do not matter, because ever single person matters. But sometimes, we just need to remember that we are a small part in a very big machine. Though we have the potential to disrupt some of the functionality of this great, cosmic machine, trying to make ourselves out as being very important is hardly going to help us at all.
We are connected to the world, we are part of it, we are NOT its rulers or its masters. We simply are and that’s okay.