People often mention that it’s good to be grateful for what you have in life, etc. This isn’t a topic I spend much time thinking about. What use is there in noting what you think is good about the world, when that time could be spent experiencing the world/making it better? However, today I had a thought: Instead of appealing to vague statements like, “Be happy you’re alive”, etc, I think the notion of gratitude is a lot more impactful when you consider the size of the universe.
The universe is ridiculously large. In the universe, there is a gigantic number of atoms. My body represents an extremely small fraction of all atoms in the universe. Based on my (layman’s) understanding of current science, it should be assumed that intelligent life (read: life which can perceive the universe, reflect on it, etc) also represents a tiny fraction of all atoms in the universe.
My atoms could just as easily be a blade of grass, a spec of dirt, or a chip of porcelain on a toilet. The odds that any given atom is going to be part of a being which can perceive the universe are (I’d assume – I haven’t done an actual calculation) very, very low.
The odds of being a perceiving entity are overwhelmingly low. Any day in which a person is alive, sensing, and perceiving the universe, is a day that their atoms are not hanging around as a motionless clump of stone. And that’s something to be very grateful for.