The unescapable weight of insignificance

You fill your days, reading, learning, working, practicing. It feels good to grow, to improve, to get closer to some self defined goals of knowledge, understanding, or proficiency. You take out your book ready for the day’s studying when you catch yourself for a moment. How much you have changed, how much you have learned, how much more you are now than yesterday – and how pointless it all is. The better you is no better than the worse you, neither of you matter, neither of you will make a mark, and if you somehow escape that fate, any marks you make will quickly be weathered by the eroding force of history. You could in this moment know everything there is to know, have the greatest of skills of anyone on earth, and it would be as irrelevant. Death would come regardless, not just for you the individual, but for your country, your race, your family lineage and eventually even for your species. What do the atoms care for your skill and your knowledge? Why do you strive from moment to moment over these empty things.

You breathe, but you may as well not breathe. You seek solace in the social, in high acclaim, in fame and approval – or in that closer more intimate kind, the affections of a lover, the pride of a parent. They too will die, your value to them nothing but a reflection of their insignificance in you and your insignificance in them.

Huddled together for warmth, running around like a small animal that needs constant motion to maintain it’s metabolism. If only you could accept that you are nothing you could find pleasure in these moments life brings you, but seeking out the impossible – meaning, purpose, objective value – you spend your short life wallowing in misery. You know this too, but cannot let go of your clinging nonetheless.

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