A System We Cannot Fathom

Ashley Lanuza, contributing student writer from San Gabriel Mission High School.

Ashley Lanuza
July 11, 2013 • 168 views

The Earth is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, one galaxy among many others. Each galaxy is a conglomeration of stars, full of unknown systems, moons, planets, and objects that are entirely different. It just so happens that we can only know the extent of our own solar system and we haven’t even come to grasp its enormity. The visible lights in the sky seem to pale in comparison to the planets, asteroids, and galaxies consisting of more than one hundred billion stars.
Take into account how small and minor our lives actually are as we live on this terrain. It is this thought that probably brought many important historical figures to become who we read about in textbooks or articles. Our lives are truly passing us by if we don’t do anything to restore the planet or to bring happiness to millions of people. Why wither away and be forgotten?  Live to be remembered for millions of years. We are mere ants compared to the unknown lands of Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn. We are small wisps of life when placed side by side with stars that have lived a billion years. But, we are still something to this galaxy. As far as we know, we are the only living planet, so our human footprints boil down to what we do on a daily basis. Massacres can result in the extinction of mankind and overuse of fossil fuels could make our own planet extinct. However, the people of this Earth can one day be equal with the life of a star through positive actions. We can live for millions of years in the minds of our posterity, the next generation.
Our work, as long as it is for the welfare of humanity, can leave a footprint for our future. Michael Myer, an astronomer from the University of Arizona, told the National Geographic in December 2004, “…that we’re not in a special place, that we might be part of a continuum of life in the cosmos, and that life might be very common.” So as you unknowingly look up to places far from your reach, think about ways you can leave a prominent mark behind you. Imagine a plan were you can make an impact on other people today, gentle enough not to hurt anyone and strong enough for the future to remember you. You may not live for millions of years like stars can, but your memory can. Live to be admired in the present and let your beliefs and actions live on as long as stars continue to glow.

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