A Stranger and His Dog

On an irregular basis, when the fancy strikes or when I’m reminded of it or for no reason at all, I leave my body and observe my surroundings. I step out of the confines of the mind and body and think about how I fit in the grand scheme of things – from the perspective of the universe. And I realize, consistently, how insignificant many of the things in life are. I am a decaying speck of dust on a planet of 7 billion people within an unfathomable size of a universe. Then, just when I’ve dizzied myself trying to fathom this unfathomable, the fact that all of this exists within a minuscule fraction of time in the history of the planet, of the galaxy, and that there are an ineffable more “fractions of time” to come, I begin to realize how truly small and irrelevant my worries, my pursuits, my accomplishments, my failures are.

I look at the stranger walking his dog, and I see how through the eyes of the shepherd the owner is his universe, while he and they mean next to nothing to me except for being subject matters on a post inspired by a set of fleeting emotions. Things bear significance by the emotions and attachments we give them. A single human, though mostly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, holds the power to draw up an entire universe, to be the world to something/someone else, to cause great joy and sorrow in at least one equally insignificant human being’s life, in turn leading to something much greater than the sum of its parts.

What is the lesson here? As decaying specks of dust with the ability to shape if not reality then the perception of reality, we can choose to focus on the good and enjoy life while it lasts.

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