|Photo Credit: Sparks of David Photography|
It all happened on the night of May 11. It was the night of my birthday and a large group of about 15 people, including me and my friends, were all camped high up in the mountains of northern Israel. Another person in the group, who I had never met before, also had their birthday that night and we celebrated with a double birthday party. We didn’t all know each other but a huge bonfire gathered us together as we got into the birthday spirit. Drinks were poured and stories were told. We laughed and sang and horsed around, all without a care in the world. I really enjoyed myself and I appreciated the presence of my friends and the others around me.
At some point, I approached the other person who was also celebrating their birthday that night. Already having something in common, we had a nice conversation and soon delved deep into each others lives. We recognized many similarities in our families, interests, personalities, and journeys. I was fascinated by the striking similarities that were apparent in our lives. The fact that we were born on the same day enthralled me and the irony that we had met, under these circumstances, intrigued me even more. How is it that two people, born on the same day, could have so many resemblances?
I started to think that it was all part of some cosmic happening, some orderly constellation. It was spooky and mysteriously thrilling. I glanced up at the stars in bewilderment. If something between two small specks of “dust in the wind” could be so cool, then what about the complexities in the universe at large?
I felt small.
When the fire died down, my friends and I got our sleeping bags and set them in the grass to gaze at the stars. It was a clear night and the sight of looking up at the stars, on a secluded mountaintop, was awe-inspiring. Deep in thought, I stared up at the beautifully adorned sky and prayed that I would see a shooting star. I witnessed multiple meteors and my heart leapt each time I traced their fiery trails across the sky. I found myself staring into the abyss we call space with my mouth foolishly open. It was jaw-dropping.
Then I saw it. Up, in the cluster of stars, was a formation of 5-7 lights that resembled a “V”. Protruding from the right side of the light formation was a blinking red light. The formation was traveling fast with the red light keeping its pace as if it were attached. It was odd and very chilling. I remembered a documentary I once watched on The History Channel about UFOs. This definitely fit the description.
“Hey guys, I just saw a UFO!!” I yelled excitedly. We all had a nice laugh when I couldn’t point it out to them because I had lost sight of it. I told them what I saw and explained that it was probably some sophisticated military technology; A quiet drone or some other warfare. After all, we were in the middle-east, a very hostile environment, and Israel is known to have one of the strongest, most advanced, Air-Forces in the world.
Again, I felt small.
There was clearly something way over my head. There were secrets of men and women more powerful and knowledgeable than myself, the many mysteries of politics, science and religion, and unanswered questions from centuries ago. Add that to the unexplainable frenzies of my personal life and it’s enough to silence anyone. I felt minimized, ignorant, and insignificant. A classic case of ego-death.
We've all felt this way before. That our efforts will never be enough; we just don’t have what it takes. So many are bigger and better than us, why should we even try?
We must all realize that we are unique. There is nobody on the planet that has the same combination of physical features, thought processes, experiences, talents, desires, values, and creativity as we do. Nobody is exactly like us. We can offer our fresh output and that is cause for celebration.
Our thoughts and ideas ARE important. People CAN be affected by our actions and they ARE interested in what we have to say. The world needs our talents! Our friends, family, and acquaintances CAN benefit from our feedback and constructive critique. They need our care and affection. They need our love.
An automobile is compiled of many different parts, that when united and working properly, turn a chaotic piece of machinery into a powerful and productive apparatus. If one part is missing or faulty it is simply a box of steel. Every part is important.
The same is true for us. Our energies are needed for the harmony of the universe and we are all of great importance. If one of us was missing or malfunctioning, things just wouldn’t be the same.
We can make the world a better place and it all starts with us. Never underestimate how valuable you are!