The blood cell analogy.

27 09 2012



This is the furthest you have ever seen into the universe! And still we’re only barely scratching at the surface. It’s amazing the perspective this picture offers on our little lives. We as people live among the 7 billion other folks that are toiling for existence on this planet. 7 Billion people all experiencing the same things. The same fears and insecurities, the same bills, the same work and the same loves. Since my issues don’t affect you, they really can’t be that important compared to the big picture. Thankfully this is the biggest panoramic picture ever captured and it has way more perspective to offer.

Photo courtesy of NASA via Huffington Post


So here we are, just one of 7 Billion others; like blood cells in a body, coursing through our day. All of us circulating around on this unremarkable blue rock, which itself is spinning wildly among the roughly 800 billion other stars and planets within our very own galaxy, the Milky Way. Now instead of envisioning people as the blood cells, try backing up even further and imagine our entire planet as a single cell in its own larger system. Now take another mental step back, because within this photo, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, are billions of galaxies like our Milky way. Try to picture our galaxy as a single cell within the universe. Feeling small yet? This photo can help but this is where I start producing ear smoke. There are 100 billion galaxies just within in the observable universe. Notice I said, “observable universe”…we still can’t see JACK! Many scientists theorize that you can back up your view even further because our universe is just one of billions, all webbed together like nerves in the brain. I can’t grasp any real scale or size here. Good luck trying the old blood cell perspective trick at the universal level.

I suppose that with all this I’m just appreciating the vastness of space while trying to gain some perspective on how honestly insignificant my own issues are; as traumatic as they might be at times to me. With this broader perspective it’s easy to see that if I worry, it should be about the issues that affect us all. The big ones like poverty, hunger, bigotry and the like. As people we are figuratively no more special than a blood cell. Fortunately we have developed the intelligence that allows us to choose to rise above our own little existence, to see and affect the bigger picture.




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1 07 2009

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