I was on my way to a play test in Seattle today, and as I was driving down Lake City Way, out of nowhere, something occurred to me. A little background: Scientists are split on whether or not it's likely that sentient life exists elsewhere in the universe. To a lot of people, it seems impossible to think that we would be the only highly advanced species to exist in the unknowable vastness of space. However, the biologists who know just how exact the conditions have to be on a planet in order for it to support life as all has convinced many of them that it's very likely that we are alone.
At first, I found this idea to be depressing. I want to meet some fucking aliens, you guys. Shit.
But today, as I was driving through North Seattle, for no reason at all, without even thinking about this subject beforehand, it struck me that if it's true that this is the only planet in the entire universe, which could be infinite as far as we know, that can support sentient life, then we are so fucking ridiculously lucky. And how precious is life on our planet if we're the only life forms beyond tiny bacteria in all of existence?
Then I laughed, because I'm driving past ugly buildings and billboards on a shitty road surrounded by people rushing off to make money. We could be so incredibly lucky just to exist, and this is what we're doing with our miracle planet? Of course, then I got sad. But I was still stuck with, no matter how cheezy this sounds, how precious life and our time on this planet is.
Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by how much time we waste every day just trying to get through life in a capitalist system that doesn't actually have to exist at all, how we spend day after day in misery, in a distracted fog, wishing we were somewhere, someone, or sometime else, that it makes me want to start crying and never stop. Sometimes I wonder why I bother participating in it myself. Why do I keep doing the things that are expected of me? Why don't I toss this all aside and go out and experience the world before it's too late? Sometimes I can feel the seconds tick by so intensely, wondering if I only have these few dozen years to be alive and wasting them.
We could all be experiencing so much. We could all be off trying to discover the meaning of life and our reason for being alive. Instead we use all our energy trying to make money and the rest of our time trying to distract ourselves from what a miserable society we've created.
Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to stop talking and start doing. You might not hear from me after that, but assume that I'm happier.