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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


OPINION: We are all just a blip in the universe


“We will be arriving in Denver at 10:35 p.m. local time. Enjoy the flight,” the pilot says over the speaker. 

Within minutes, we are in the air and the lights of Indianapolis below are flickering up at me, getting further away with every passing second.  

There’s something about being in the airplane seat, staring out at the skyline below, that really puts the world into perspective. People will tell you repeatedly that we are just little ants on a floating rock, but it isn’t until you see the streets that you walk every day from 15,000 feet in the air that you realize how true that is.  

As humans, we focus so much of our energy into what we look like or if someone is in love with us or how we are perceived by others, that we forget to live. For some, what they see in the mirror each morning determines how their day is going to be.  

Some wake up every morning and pray that overnight they found a way to love themselves. Some go about their day and can’t stand the thought of what strangers on the streets are thinking about them. Some are convinced the person they are in love with could never love them because of the way they look. Some fear love may never be in the cards for them.  

We waste so much energy on the idea of being perfect that we forget to just actually exist.  

In reality, we are so small in comparison to the world. In fact, there are 8 billion of us. One human is 1/5,000,000 the scale of the Earth we live on each day. Not to mention the Earth is just a proverbial drop in the cosmos.  

There is an entire universe beyond our tiny floating rock.  

A year ago, if someone had said that to me, I would have had an existential crisis. It can be crippling to realize how small we are.  

The first question most people ask is, “do we even matter, then?”  

Here’s my answer to that: to the entire universe? No, probably not. To ourselves? Yes.  

We exist only in our brains. We choose what life we live and how much love and happiness we let in. It’s all subjective.  

If we are so small in the grand scheme of it all, why should we waste our mornings praying we magically shrunk three sizes overnight? Why should we skip dessert because we are wearing tight clothes? Why should we change who we are so that person will like us?  

What is the point in changing every part of us to fit into this ideal that society claims is right?  

You choose what your life looks like, not the random stranger at the bus stop. You choose what is right.  

So, live the life you want. Sing louder in the car. Put on that outfit you were worried about being seen in. Eat the dessert.  Rest when it’s needed. Let it be.  

Gentry Keener (she/her) is a junior studying journalism and political science.  

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