Here’s a quick quiz for you. Which area has more? A) Stars in the Milky Way, the galaxy in which the earth resides; or B) trees on earth? You’ve at least once in your life gazed upon the expanse that is our galaxy. On some clear, lighted night you’ve stared at the stars and been overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of stars that fill our galaxy. And I would venture to guess that you’ve also become aware of how humans are cutting down trees at an alarming rate.
Now that you’ve had a chance to answer that question, let me tell you what the truth is. By the best method of counting that we have at this time, there are 100 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and 3.04 trillion trees on earth. If you guessed A) above, you would be wrong.
I am in no way diminishing the life of a tree. Even one tree is well worth saving. But before looking into it further, I would’ve been strongly on the side of A). According to Snopes, the fact-checking site, this is true. There are more trees on earth than there are stars in the Milky Way.
So, why is this important?
The world is full of assumptions. Well meaning theories that seem right, but are far from it. We start our lives predisposed to the beliefs and opinions of our parents, teachers, and other influential people in our lives. As we grow, we come in contact with other people and their beliefs and opinions, many of whom are so flamboyantly persuasive that we instantly follow.
But we are unique. We are not meant to be solely reflections of others. This diminishes our equality with others. If we are truly equal, and I believe that we are, we need to examine the predisposed thoughts we have. We need to question whether the beliefs we hold are truly our own. And we need to be open to the impossible being possible.
I recently watched a debate among sportscasters on the use of robots as umpires in the professional ranks of baseball. One sportscaster was adamant. His stance was that umpires and the drama that went with them were all part of the game. And that replacing that person with a robot (which made far more accurate calls than the human) would detrimentally change the game. Because that’s the way it has always been, was his argument.
I believe that it would change the game, but that’s what happens. Things change.
If things never changed, we’d still live in caves, grunt at one another rather than communicate with words, and we’d believe that the world was flat. We’d have a quality of life that was far less than we have now. Our society would not have progressed as it has. There would be no progression at all.
We can only progress both culturally and personally if we are open to the idea that just maybe something that seems impossible really is possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy every absurd belief that you are presented with. But it does mean that you are willing to examine the ones that speak to you, and be willing to change your beliefs if that examination leads you to a different conclusion.
What impossibility are you going to be brave enough to honestly examine today?
Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson