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Thoughts about Life and Time
July 2022

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

The Circle of Life

I recently became an uncle for the first time in my life. Meeting my niece was a very emotional moment and one that I am sure will stay with me forever. I recall being taken aback by the strength of the emotions I felt during our first encounter.

When I held my niece in my arms for the very first time I was nervous, she was so fragile and precious, despite these feelings of nervousness I was also filled with immense joy at her arrival. I later realised that this moment marked the ushering in of a new generation. This bright-eyed baby would soon grow into a concious being who would have agency in this world and someday would likely have her own children and start a new generation of life. She would carry on part of the human DNA that our ancestors had passed on to us.

This led me to think about the circle of life and where I currently resided on this circle. Understanding the finite nature of my own existence made this moment with my niece even more meaningful, I was grateful to witness the start of the next generation entering this world.

The span of an individual human life is short, we are but a blip on the scale of evolution. Welcoming the next generation into the world is a privilege, it also highlights how quickly the circle of life progresses, only yesterday I was a child playing in the garden.

Finite Time and Meaning

The fact that our time in life is finite makes the moments more meaningful. Occasionally I stop and observe the moments I am in and the people I am with, taking stock of the value of the moment, of the fact that I only have so many of these. This might sound odd but when I do this I find beauty in almost every moment and I feel closer to the people I happen to be with.

This understanding of the finiteness of my time also makes it simpler to navigate the human experience. Even in difficult times I am forced to appreciate the human experience and value it for what it is since some day there will be no more time, no more experiences left to experience. This mindset in particular reminds me of a very difficult time in my life, one where I felt in despair, I somehow learnt to appreciate this time for what it was, a human experience, an important part of the story of my life.

I find the infinite much less beautiful than the finite. While I enjoy pondering the vastness of space, I don't like to think of it as infinite, in some sense the infinite devalues what exists for there is an infinite supply of it. There is beauty in the finite, I believe the finite nature of life and time makes it more valuable. Pondering our own lives and the time we have is important in my opinion, it helps us to prioritise and leads to more meaningful lives.

Human Connection

Innate in all of us is the need to connect with others. This is something I have grown to appreciate more having been somewhat self-centered and disconnected growing up. Shared human experiences deliver the most cherished moments in life and feelings of human connection are the best of what life has to offer in my opinion.

Something I often like to consider is the fact that we all share this time in history together and in that sense we hold some connection to each other through our shared existence. I sometimes have this thought that I have expressed to others who find it slightly bizarre but to me it feels somewhat comforting. I imagine that we are all progressing through life and getting old together, that we in a sense are in this experience together and connected as a global community. This way of thinking often makes me feel closer to humanity and part of something larger than myself. The Earth flag represents this idea of a global community well. Maybe as we venture out to space in years to come this concept will become more common.

In the past few years, I have also experienced a change in my own mindset from one that used to be more selfish to one that cares a lot about the communities I am in and how I can contribute to these. This shift in my mindset has had a big impact on my own life and happiness, it is also something I like to reflect on often. Human connection seems to me to be one of the most crucial components of a life well lived and is something I hope to cultivate further as I make my way through my own life.

To Be Continued ...