contemplating mortality. for no particular reason.

I watch a lot of science shows.  I’m fascinated by things like nebulae, pulsars, comets, gas giants, brown dwarves and black holes as well as plate tectonics, volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes.

What all this casual study has led to is a realization of our own miniscuality. MInisculeness? Minisculism?

Whatever. We’re TINY.

Our galaxy is a tiny speck in the universe. Our solar system is a tiny speck on our galaxy. Our earth is a tiny speck in our solar system. And we are tiny specks on the earth.

We are tiny specks in the size of things, and our lives our tiny specks in the time of things.

Which all means we have a very short time and a very small radius in which to make a difference.  Our individual influence won’t last long, and it won’t go far.  No one looks into a “Who’s Who” book two weeks after it’s published, much less in 500 years or on another planet. No one is going to memorialize our collections of clothes, toys, books or guns, except as a momentary headline forgotten in a day, or a complaint to their own grandkids about the mess they had to clean up when we died.

Our best hope as typical tiny specks is to make a difference in the lives close to us, whether that closeness is geographical, genetic or attitudinal.

Part of a smart person’s recent Facebook post reminded me that feelings only matter to the person feeling them: only behavior makes a difference to everyone else. So be generous.

Be generous with yourself. You are only a tiny speck. But even tiny specks deserve time and care.

Be generous with your creativity. Make something of yourself in the truest sense of the phrase. Let the world see what you can do.

Be generous with your knowledge. Teach someone something. Show them an easier way.

Be generous with your humor. Make someone laugh. The world is a seriously hilarious place.

Be generous with your generosity. Reduce someone’s misery with a donation to the local food bank, homeless shelter or humane society. Increase someone’s joy with a donation to the local community band, school group or senior home.

Don’t go to the grave without anyone knowing who you were or what you loved. Earn the right to be missed. That’s quite a legacy for a tiny speck.