I met an arrogant person the other day, aren’t they just a pain. A pretentious miss universe, asking me “Don’t you know who I am?” Fuck no I don’t, why would I? Do you know just how many people surround me every day? At least ten a day, hundreds a week, thousands a month. A few million people live in this city, many more millions in the country, let alone in this whole goddamn world! And our world is only a small planet in a tiny solar system, which is nothing but a dot in our galaxy, which is only a blub in the local group that contains thousands of galaxies, which is in turn only a small corner of the Virgo supercluster. Really, our planet is nothing but an ingrown hair on a tiny black spot of a Dalmatian. Imagine that this dog’s ingrown hair houses about 7 billion bacteria, and that one of those single-celled creatures asks the other why they’re not being recognized. Spare me.  

No person is really that important, and definitely not in cosmos space and time. We human beings hardly matter at all. We used to think that our planet Earth was the centre of the universe and that we were the highest form of life. A certain Ciordano Bruno passionately passed on the message that our planet in fact orbits the sun. As a result, he was imprisoned for years and eventually got burned to death publicly by the church. How dare he question our superiority! We figured out he was right after all, just a century or so too late for the poor fellow. A few more scientists were put to shame or crucified before we finally accepted that our planet is just one of many others, and that it circles around a star of which there are millions more. 

We also learned that the bible was a bit off when it comes to time. We haven’t been around for a few thousand years, but more like 300.000 years. More painfully so, we discovered that even a few 100.000 years of human presence is nothing but a joke. The universe has been around for some 13.8 billion years, and our planet for about 4.5 billion. Life first appeared 3.5 billion years ago, and endless forms of it have dominated our planet for millions of years before we joined the party. So we matter why exactly? In cosmos time, we’ve hardly been around. Most of that negligible time period we kept ourselves busy with digging up roots and speering down monkeys, and we only started to understand physics and explore our cosmos backyard the last few hundred years or so. We knew nothing until recently and still know little today. Yet we keep believing that we are the light of the cosmos party and that life can’t possibly get more sophisticated than this… 

Many people also think it’s nothing but a matter of time before we play a game of chess with aliens. But even though we have launched space crafts that travel at 56,000 km an hour, which is pretty damn fast, it’s not worth much in the cosmos. Space operates in light years rather than human years. At the speed of light, one year crosses about 10 trillion kilometres. So if we keep fingers crossed that the nearest star system to us accommodates life, it would take a NASA space shuttle about 80.000 years to reach it. Not to be a party pooper, but that’s gonna be a whole lotta sandwiches to pack for the road. Despite these facts, plenty of us keep believing that our small, insignificant planet has already been invaded by aliens. We have convinced ourselves that they tend to only land in the backyard of the White House, due to which it has become one of the best-kept secrets of the American government… 

Anyway, about that Dalmatian dog. Let’s say this dog has as many spots as stars in our galaxy: thousands and thousands, and that we are nothing but one of those spots. What about the white fur, surely it ain’t all about the spots? Thing is, it isn’t: in space, the white fur of the dog is what we call dark matter. It’s there, but just hard for us to see or comprehend. It goes beyond our imagination, like a black hole, which is pretty much a star so big (about 40 million suns) that its gravity pulls anything in, even light. Many of us, however, imagine that black holes in space are like elevators in skyscrapers: hop in and you’ll arrive anywhere you want back or forward in time… 

In any case, what it is I’m trying to say: don’t take it too personal when I don’t know exactly who you are. And whatever it is that you do for a living, which you might consider to be highly important, becomes pretty insignificant on a different scale. Of course we all want to be immortal in a way and leave some trace behind. Perhaps that’s why we refer to ‘rock stars’. Some stars in the sky still shine their light on us today, even though they died many million years ago. So keep aiming high: if you matter to yourself that’s all that matters. Perhaps just try keep it to yourself. And to the contrary, whenever you feel undesirable, just remember that you are nothing more than earthy, recyclable carbons and hydrogens. Your carbons will one day turn into star dust again, when the sun swallows our planet and eventually turns into a supernova. So when you are in fact unsuccessful in life, keep in mind that your life is short and irrelevant to history. Arrogant people, shameful people, even rock stars matter nothing in cosmos time. No need to care or worry too much about yourself.