2017 has been here for quite a few months already, and while the world seems a little brighter than it was last year, the shadows of 2016 still haunt us. We’re facing the repercussions of one of the most controversial presidential elections in history in a very real way. Progressive changes in society are being overturned, allowing for more violence and hate to seep into daily life. Climate change is getting harder to fight back against, yet no one seems to notice. While we know it’s all a part of the natural order of things, it seems like beloved public figures are dying almost as frequently as they were in 2016, another tick to add to the relentless list of sorrows.
It just seems like the world is descending into more and more chaos. It’s impossible to pinpoint one exact moment in time that started it all. On top of that, there seems to be a dwindling (though not completely futile) hope to fix things.
So, how can we find peace? How can we make things right?
I have a poster above my bed. It shows the Milky Way galaxy and points out the itty-bitty dot we call our home: the solar system and Earth. Written across the top of the poster in large letters is: “You Are Here.”
Life can get intense. Whenever it does, I try to remind myself to look at that poster and think about where we really are: on a floating rock hurtling through space, through the universe.
I constantly take time out to stargaze, at least for an hour at a time, if I can. Stargazing is relaxing, it connects me with nature (and gets me away from technology), and it’s fun. The first time I really stargazed was during a lunar eclipse while out alone on my front porch. I nearly froze my toes off despite the pile of blankets I was under, but watching the moon change colors as it traveled through the Earth’s shadow fascinated me. I realized that I was on the same big rock that was causing that shadow, and from there my love for stargazing grew. It’s something I think everyone should take the time to do.
Set aside some time every once in a while to go out on a clear night, preferably with friends and music (I often listen to Michael Jackson or space-themed songs), and as far away from light pollution as possible. You don’t even need a telescope. Just go and lie down on a blanket, and observe the stars, or perhaps even catch a meteor shower. Hopefully you’ll be able to clear your mind and focus on the big picture:
There are stars and planets out there that could easily dwarf our sun, even our entire solar system. There are huge chunks of rock floating around that could smash into our fragile planet and end our existence. Somewhere, there must be other life forms floating around on a planet far, far away; a species that answers the question, “Are we alone?” We may find out the answer and we may not. It’s all mind-boggling. Perhaps even a little frightening, but incredible and humbling, nevertheless. And it brings us to a perspective we might not have had before.
Astronomy is a powerful thing. In this day and age, it seems like people forget where we truly are and focus on what are – honestly – small problems (such as politics, money, or work). Perhaps if more people looked up at the sky, and thought about the significance of it, we could unite as one to fix our problems, recover our world, and find peace, bit by bit.
No matter how big it seems, we are all on the same planet. We are all here. If we listen to the stars, we can find the inspiration we need to work together to heal the Earth. Who knows, maybe somebody on another planet somewhere is listening to us, searching for their own answers for peace.
This piece was submitted as part of the GrokWithUs initiative, designed to highlight the stories and experiences of GrokNation readers.
Chrissie Miille, a native of the Bay Area in Northern California, writes articles as a Fan Contributor for Fandom as well as short stories on her own time. She serves as an administrator on the Danny Phantom Wiki, loves stargazing and the Warriors, and is learning programming for future endeavors.