Things to be thankful for

Yesterday I saw that Braxwolf had written a post called “Thankful for Creation“. I immediately assumed that by “Creation” he meant the cosmos in which we live. Actually he was focusing more on the creative side of life, although he did see a religious aspect to that as well. Nevertheless that headline brought to mind that I am certainly thankful for the cosmos, and I think it’s good for all of us to contemplate such things once in a while.

However you look at, scientifically or religiously or something else, it is pretty mind boggling that the universe exists at all, and in such a way as to make us and our lives possible. You may have heard the Carl Sagan line that “We are stardust”. Yes, to the best of our knowledge a good proportion of the chemical elements that make up your body and mine and most of the other stuff on the Earth had to be forged in a supernova explosion, the end result of the lifecycle of a large star, which lasted some billions of years. Then some of the “stardust” had to be all gathered together by another star (aka the Sun) to allow the planet to form, and the same star helpfully provided an enormous power source for several more billions of years, enabling life to develop and take hold. Pretty amazing.

On top of that, the lives we all get to live today are the product of thousands of years of human culture and creativity. I happened to read earlier that as of today you can now buy a pretty powerful computer for $5:

That’s striking, but actually most everything around us that we take for granted normally is equally remarkable. The amount of insight and knowhow that is required for the making of a spoon, a notepad or a pair of glasses is staggering, and only possible because generations of people have been building on the work of those that went before for several millenia.

We might have done a lot to improve our own lives, or the lives of others, but by and large what we’ve done ourselves is small potatoes compared to what was just there for us to work with because of where and when we are.

I’m thankful for many things, and among them I include the Universe and spoons.