An answer in the stars

October 2nd, 2014


Look up.


Take a break from reading this award-winning newspaper for a moment and look around you. What do you see?


We often fail to realize that there is a world all around us. We each fall into our own little worlds. We’re so engrossed with our own problems and fancy devices that we’re always looking down. Occasionally we’ll peek up from our gadgets to engage in a conversation or two.


More importantly, we become increasingly blind to the world above us. The universe is a place so incredibly vast that it defies imagination, yet can’t entice us to look up from our phones or plates of food.


At night, the sky turns dark and opens a small window for us to peer into the vastness of the universe. Limited by our weak eyes, we can’t see very far outside that little window.


Even so, thousands of stars fill the sky with light for us to behold. All we have to do is look up, and we can see the amazing beauty of the universe.


It’s still not easy to pause and look up. We all have busy schedules –  essays to write, exams to study for, work to do for extracurriculars.


When we finish all of this work, an unlimited number of entertainment options confront us, such as Netflix, video games, TV, movies and Yik Yak.


Lost among the possibilities is one recreational activity pursued by humans for thousands of years – stargazing. (By the way, make sure to check out the article on the brand new stargazers club on page three.)


Even before the invention of the telescope in the late 1500s, we have looked up to the stars for answers. Why? Besides the obvious scientific explanations, what could faraway suns possibly reveal to us about life or about ourselves?


Stars remind us how lucky we are. Scientifically, our odds of existence are infinitesimal. So much has had to come together to allow this little planet to produce the ingredients necessary for life.


Stars prompt us to think about how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things. According to NASA, the universe is infinite. The earth is a tiny drop of water in an endless ocean.


This thought might seem depressing at first. What’s the point of life if we have little impact on the universe?


The answer lies in the stars. To our knowledge, no other life exists. With our advanced telescopes, we have peered millions of light-years into our galaxy and beyond, yet we still have not found any forms of sentient life.


Our lives here on Earth are priceless. As John F. Kennedy said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”


Make the most of your time here.


If you’re ever feeling perplexed as you study for that test in the late hours of the night, put down the book for a moment and step outside. Gaze up at the stars and take a deep breath.


Think about all those who have come before you and peered up at those same stars. Ponder the wonders of the universe and look deep inside yourself.


You might just find the answer to your problem.