Prepare yourself for a lot of “affects” and “everything.” Of all the things happening at once in the world, in the solar system, in the galaxy, in the universe, we only seem to care about the things that affect us. It’s unbelievable to think of the infinite number of events happening at this moment. Although we don’t feel the affects of the things happening 8000 miles away, or even just 100 miles away, it blows my mind to think that everything that happens in the universe affects everthing else. Everything you’re seeing and doing is affected by everything else.
“It’s all really there, that’s what gets you.”
I remember years ago learning about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. This is the idea that there is no way to know the speed and the location of an electron because once you look at it, you have changed it. To expand on this, there are an infinite number of things that you affect every moment. Just by watching TV you may have sent particles in the atmosphere to Russia, skewing the radiation from the sun, perhaps saving some individual from getting melanoma (or maybe even causing it). Simply by turning on the lights, you have changed things you don’t even realize.
Studying molecular and microbiology, I realize that things are tiny. There are millions of commensal bacteria inhabiting the skin’s flora, and probably millions more floating around the air you breathe.
But think about the things you can’t see. Compared to the millions or even billions of bacteria, even compared to the $14 trillion deficit, the innumerable waves, photons, atoms, and events all over the universe really puts our lives in perspective. The earth might be relatively insignificant, but as much as everything in the universe affects us, we play a role as well.
Life is simply an infinite number of random events, but there are ways to measure your odds. These are your odds of getting hit by a bus, struck by lightning, getting a heart attack, winning the lottery, etc. There are also odds on a larger scale; that the earth will be hit by a meteor, solar flares will destroy the atmosphere, etc. How much of your life do you control? Given that there are so many things affecting you, an individual can only do so much. So pay attention to your actions, think about the consequences, and remember life is 5% what happens, and 95% how you react.
Aside: Migraine pain.