Who are you, really?
You’re a unique organism, created once and only once, never to be repeated again in the multi-trillion year lifespan of the universe. You’re a blink in this grand scheme of time. You’re not even a chapter, paragraph, word, or letter in the book that tells the story of the world.
During my last Duke of Edinburgh expedition, I was lying on my back on a beach looking at the stars one night. Our camp was away from any civilization whatsoever as far as the eye could see. The only unnatural light that night was the flickers of our flashlights. And the stars, trillions and trillions of them, light years away, sprayed across the sky like spilled milk. As true as any Milky Way diagram in your childhood encyclopedia.
It was the first time I’d seen so many stars, being the city kid as I am. And it made me feel so profoundly insignificant that all my problems were, literally, mathematically, nothing in this universe. A universe where stars like our sun with solar systems spinning around them are born, live, and die in the blink of a few billion years.
I’m so unsure of everything: my opinions, my faith, my attitude towards other people. I’m not even sure if I’m really me sometimes, or just some collage of personalities, interests, and attributes copy-and-pasted from my parents, my friends, and my idols. I don’t know why I do certain things: to please someone? To make a point? Why can’t I do this, or like that, because it’s what I want, because it’s part of who I am?
If you’re around my age with the help of modern medicine, you’ll probably disappear and never come back again in a little less than a century. So why waste your time trying to be bits of something else?
When you’re gone, will you be gone? Or would we merely have lost another version of something?