I have a favorite thought that never fails to ground me when I am down, or sad, or lonely, or upset, or even slightly depressed. I guess I am some or all of those things this past month or so.
In the grand scheme of things - which to my way of thinking is no scheme at all - my life is exactly one grain of sand in all of the sand on all of the beaches on this earth.
I think about the number of human beings that have walked the face of this earth since we became human. I think of how short each and every life has ever been since the first human. I think of all the humans that have lived and died before me, up to this last minute, and I take comfort in knowing that I count among them as one grain of sand in a vast ocean of beaches full of billions of grains of sand.
I used to fly a lot. Many cross-country trips or trips up the eastern seaboard after dark. I'd look down at the brightly-lit neighborhoods of the metropolitan areas 32,000 feet below, and the realization of how insignificant my problems were amongst the millions of people living their lives down there would just smack me upside the head. The sparsely populated areas with the far-spaced lights made me ache in imagined empathic loneliness for the desolate conditions below. Night flying in a window seat always inspires the comforting "grain of sand" analogy.
I don't even have any real problems these days. But I can still be hurt, and I can still be too tired or too stressed (with work, but even that is a good thing, right?) and I still worry about the mundane bits of my life as well as the state of humans and their lives and injustice and unfairness all over this freakin planet.
Yet, when I remember how truly insignificant the worries that sometimes fill my world are, when I think about that grain of sand that is me in the universe, I just have to laugh at myself.
It's like Rick Blaine once said "Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid. "