Is The World Still Turning?

Forgiveness Wednesday

For over 1500 years, humanity believed it was the center of the universe. Earth was the alpha and omega of the cosmos. Solid, stable, stationary. It made perfect sense.

The Sun went around the Earth once a day. So did the Moon. And the planets. And the stars. Wouldn’t you have believed it? I would have. All the experts said so.

And then Copernicus came along. And Galileo. And Kepler. And then, not suddenly, but gradually, around 1600, we were no longer the center of the universe. The Sun was.

Can you imagine the blow to the human ego? It was such a natural assumption. It felt so right. But it just wasn’t true. It’s a bit like Superman showing up on the map.

As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson describes the moment in Dawn of Justice:

“We're talking about a being whose very existence challenges our own sense of priority in the universe. And you go back to Copernicus where he restored the Sun in the center of the known universe, displacing Earth. And you get to Darwinian evolution, and you find out we're not special on this earth, we're just one among other life-forms. And now we learn that we're not even special in the entire universe because there is Superman.”

Just like humanity believed Earth was in the middle, so do we - humans as individuals - believe we’re in the middle. The center of Earth. The pivotal point of life.

And for our own lives, we are, of course. But not for everyone else’s. Not even for those we love most. That’s why, sometimes, like humanity as a whole, we need a damper. A reminder that, no, we’re not in the middle.

A Superman showing up, making us ask: Who am I? Why am I here? What am I doing?

Sometimes, it takes a sick day, or a vacation, or a newcomer on the scene, but the result is the same: “Oh, the company is fine without me.” The swim team still has practice. The orchestra still plays.

At the end of the day, no one is irreplaceable. We’re all small parts of a greater whole. This isn’t actually depressing. It’s quite wonderful. To have the chance to realize things still work when you’re not around.

Sometimes, the best way to show yourself that is to just let go. When you come back, you can ask: Is the world still turning? Of course the answer will always be the same.

Yes. Yes it is. And it still revolves around the Sun.


About Forgiveness Wednesday: No matter how the week starts, by Wednesday, we’ve had enough time to kick ourselves. We’re human. We make mistakes, we regret them, and we blame ourselves. But the only way we can keep moving on is if we forgive ourselves and those around us. So every Wednesday, forgiveness is what we’ll practice.

Let’s be kind to ourselves so we can succeed.

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