When I feel like I am losing my battle with six incurable diseases, I often fight back against the depression by doing some big-picture thinking. How does one little insignificant speck of carbon-based lifeform living on an apparently doomed planet fit into the vast over-all thing that is the universe? Well, I can shift my point of view from the macro to the micro. To the tiny little liver cell that just split off an older cell, the great big organism that is me is rather a big deal. To the tiny germinating thought in my brain that will evolve into this essay, the collection of thoughts and experiences that is my mind and soul are a matter of life and death. What does it all mean, anyway? What value does it all have?
I have been a public school teacher who touched more than 2000 lives in my time. I invented moose bowling. I have written and published more than one novel. I have somehow managed to reproduce and father three beautiful children in spite of my many flaws and geek-o-riffic tendencies. I have achieved success in so many ways. Even if it all ends in the next hour, it will be okay. I will continue to resonate through this little world in one way or another for quite some time. I have affected this world for both good and ill, but mostly for good, and that affects the solar system too because I have been a part of it… and the Orion Spur of the Saggitarius Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy too because I have been a part of it… and the local cluster of galaxies… and probably even the realms beyond that.
To paraphrase The Desiderata ; “I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, I have a right to be here.”
So, Lord, this is not about regret or guilt or longing or pain. This is about celebration. It is good to exist. Thank you for every day of life I have ever had.