Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Well, That Put's It All In Perspective

Hello Troops,
Ever sit outside and look at the stars in the night sky and wonder where you belong in the grand scheme of things? You may feel you are a very small cog in the great gears of multiple bureaucracies. And you may be. You may feel you have very little control of your life. And you may not. You may feel no one has your back. And they may not. You lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, worrying about things that seem overwhelmingly important to you - but are they really?

Your perspective of the world and universe revolves around a few family members, a few close friends, school mates, work mates, and perhaps a few others here and there in a club, church, or some other social organization. This little circle of people you 'hang out' with play a large roll in your understanding of who and what you are.

Take a moment and think of the people in this "Who I Am" circle. They have power over you because you've given it to them. These people help you create your self concept - the feeling of who you are. They help you form your self image. When they talk you listen. If they are upset, you are upset. In other words, you really care about what they think when it comes to you.

Now, how many people are on that list? Compare that number with the number of people in your town, county, state and nation? There are 6 billion people on this planet and your self image is dictated by how many people?

A word of advice. If your "Who Am I" circle is really big (as it can be for teenagers that freak out of anyone at school mentions the pimple on the end of their nose) may I suggest you rethink your perspective. A well grounded person pulls his self image from inside rather than outside. His "Who Am I" circle of people that help him form his self perception is very small. Their self image isn't dictated by the large group. It comes from inside - from a small group of people.

Now, let's take YOU and put YOU in the grand scheme of things.

Here YOU are on Earth. Asleep in bed, dreaming of lands far away. Look how our world compares to our nearest neighboring planets.

And now you see YOU compared to all the other planets of the solar system.

Wow, add the sun and look how small the Earth is.

Our sun is a light weight compared to several other stars.

And how about comparing our sun to some of the largest stars in the universe. Our sun is only 1 pixel is size!

There are more stars in our galaxy than grains of sand on all the Earth's beaches. And how many galaxies are there?

This is the Hubble Deep Space Field. Take a penny outside at night. Hold it as far from your eye as possible toward an empty section of the night sky. Imagine how small Lincoln's eye is against that empty night sky. The picture you see above is a picture of what really exists in that tiny space occupied by Lincoln's eye on the penny. Each one of those lights is an entire galaxy!!

And in all the wonder and grandeur of the universe please remember there is only one YOU!

So, be kind to yourself and don't let yourself get beat up over small things. You are unique. You are a human. You have self awareness. You can comprehend the universe. And as far as we know, we are the only intelligent life in the universe. If there are others, then they are rare, very rare indeed. You are a miracle so don't forget that the next time you freak out because someone gave you a funny look.

Mr. Williamson
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