am i significant

Insignificantly Significant

I’ve always loved going to the planetarium and exploring the galaxy, the universe. I live in a place with light pollution, but it wasn’t always this way. When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to gaze into the vastness of the night sky. I’d feel so small — infinitesimal — and yet so big and important at the same time.

am i significant

Scientists tell us there are billions and billions of stars and planets that go out unimaginably far. I look up and I feel my absolute insignificance. I am but a speck of a speck of a speck of a speck.

Am I Important?

Yet at the same time, I occupy a place here on earth. Right now. I am connected to tens of thousands of people by various facets of my life (to everyone on earth if you go out 3.57 degrees and believe Facebook, never mind factoring in all other social media channels). I am part of the fabric of humanity. The fact that I exist and endure, five decades after 1 in 15 million sperm met a happenstance monthly egg, means I am, at the same time, the epitome of significant. *

Do you tend to feel insignificant or significant in the scheme of things — or both?

* Oh yes I did almost imagine my parents having sex. Oops and ewww.

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Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a young adult daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

8 thoughts on “Insignificantly Significant”

  1. Do you know, I feel insignificant because I’m such a small part of it all (I’m not even tall) but at the same time significant because I, like every other person in the universe I believe, am here to do my very specific part that none other can. I also loved going out on the driveway with my father when I was a kid. We lived at the end of a dead end road with woods so it got so dark and I was awestruck by the constellations. My husband and I do that now and try to get the kids involved. The clear night sky never ceases to amaze me.

  2. I love star gazing. Looking up to the sky and seeing evidence that we are just a small part of something extoridnary. So I love, in a way, feeling insignificant and feeling that troubles will pass because they are also small.

    Feeling significant? Well that’s a harder one. I work to find ways to leave my mark, all for the better. But I shy away from being significant because I don’t believe my work is done. Maybe it’s a lesson I need to embrace?

  3. This is really beautiful. Like you, I loved looking at the stars. Growing up on a farm, far away from any light sources, the stars were amazing. I still love them, and one of my favourite parts of being on safari was seeing the stars. I know I’m only a speck in a drop in the ocean – both in terms of the size of the universe, and in terms of time itself. I’m very comfortable with that now – I think it’s part of knowing I leave no legacy other than what I can do here and now.

  4. Gorgeous photo…and I love your thought of being significant in the vastness of the insignificance implied by so much space, so much infinity. (My parents used to constantly remind me of my conception on my birthday, all the sordid details of hippie mountain tent living and whatnot, and with my dad leaving messages like, “Happy birthday, daughter, fruit of my loins…” EW.) I go back and forth… significant in what I can bring to this life, to this world, in whatever way possible, and insignificant in being a tiny grain of sand in the grand scheme of things, in the bigger context of universe and whatnot. I think you can totally be significant despite the insignificance, if that makes any sense. That said, stargazing where there’s no light pollution freaks me right out. I feel lost in the sea of stars.

  5. Love this. Maybe it’s both: that we are small, but that the smallness is an important part of the big … that the large scale universe cannot exist as such without us. Maybe that’s dreaming, but it’s a nice dream. 🙂

  6. Beautifully put. I think I tend to focus on the insignificant side more than the miracle that is the fact that we exist at all. It is hard not to feel small when you think about how many people exist on earth and how many other planets are out there. (30 billion in our galaxy! And 100 billion galaxies in the universe!)

  7. It may be my mood at the moment, but it feels like every time I try to be significant, or do something significant, I get slapped down. I’ve tried other callings, but they haven’t worked out so far. Not sure what else is the issue. Sigh.

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