Our little planet spins on its axis at 900 miles an hour and orbits the sun at about 20 miles a second. Our sun, us, and every star we see in the sky is moving at about 1 million miles per day or about 40,000 miles an hour. There are 100 billion stars in our universe, each with planets like ours orbiting it. There are apparently infinite numbers of universes.
All this makes us as one life form seem fairly insignificant, wouldn’t you say?
It is estimated that there are currently 8.7 million different life forms on the Earth. Some, like the horseshoe crab, have been here for 450 mllion years. Dinosaurs ruled the earth for 105 million years—they must have thought they were pretty special, but the crabs have well and truly outdone them.
Humans have been around for a mere 10 million years. Horses for 50 million. What makes us, as a species, more significant than the majestic horseshoe crab? I think we tend to get a little over awed with our own importance.
Our ancestors have done a magnificent job through religion and the like of convincing us that during our incredibly short time in existence we have become the most important of beings. Fairly arrogant and self absorbed, wouldn’t you agree? It is believed that there are billions of planets equivalent to Earth out there, each possibly supporting beings all of equivalent importance in the big picture.
It has been discovered that everything that exists is made up of a mixture of the same elements; that is, the moon, a rock, a tree, a fish, you, me and the horse, are all just individual mixes of certain base elements that have come together to resemble something. In fact, all of the above listed things are made up of mostly nothing; we are all a collection of atoms, and atoms are hundreds of millions of parts nothing to one part something. If we took all of the nothingness out of a person, the remaining solids would be microscopic. The incredible gravity of a black hole could reduce the entire Earth and everything on it to the size of, perhaps, a marble. Black holes are doing this everyday to entire universes.
So in the big scheme, what makes us more important than our horses?
We are here with our horses and everything else around us for an incredibly short time. What makes our short lives fulfilling is the relationships we have with the people and things around us, so we should do everything we can to savour every moment. The closeness we can establish between ourselves and our horses is a wonderful thing—two different beings communicating and relating on an intimate and unique level, but why not? We are made of exactly the same stuff.