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Random Thoughts: The significance in being insignificant

by Random Thoughts 6 months ago in Humanity · updated 6 months ago
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I was washing dishes one day when my eye caught on a tiny, moving speck outside my window pane, tinier than the period at the end of this sentence. I couldn’t make out if it had arms or legs or even a head. I would have missed it entirely, except that it was a brilliant, beautiful candy apple red.

“Hello, there,” I said to the creature. “Why would God or evolution make something so tiny, so insignificant, and then colour it the most striking ‘look at me!’ shade of red?”

She, or he (I wasn’t sure of its preferred pronouns), stopped moving and appeared to look through the glass at me, as if pondering my question.

My curiosity was piqued.

Dishes forgotten, I took a picture of my new little friend, whom I’ll call Midge. She was so tiny though, that my camera couldn’t even focus in on her. Husband Joe photo-shopped her a bit larger so you can see her better.

I then shuffled through Google mugshots for “bright red bug,” and clearly none of them had been ready for their close-ups. To be fair, however, face powder and mascara will only go so far when you have tentacles coming out of your mouth.

None of the critters had the brilliant red hue of my Midge, but I did learn that she was probably a mite, and her scarlet dress code was to warn birds that she was toxic.

I thought it a pity that humans hadn’t evolved the same way:

“Oooh, look at that one on the dance floor! A right looker he is.”

“Aye, lass, but his bright red skin tells you he’s a toxic human being. Best keep looking.”

Bugs also use bright colours to attract a mate, and seeing that Midge was all alone on my window pane, I wondered if a dating app might help. Perhaps something like Bumble, except Bumble Bee.

Despite our difference in size, it occurred to me that we weren’t so different, Midge and I. It was all a matter of perspective. I was gigantic, looking down at Midge, and thus I could have considered her to be insignificant.

But at the same time, I am microscopic within the realm of the vast universe. Perhaps the Earth is just a mote of dust, floating around in some other world, and some being much greater and more evolved than I is, at this very moment, observing me.

In the grand scheme of things, size doesn’t matter. I am as insignificant as Midge.

Midge also cannot comprehend our world. She is oblivious: artificial intelligence, cars, modern medicine, the internet, space travel, particle accelerators, are all around her, and yet so far beyond her intellectual capacity that, if we could show her even a fraction of what we can do, she would believe us humans to be gods.

Don’t smite the mites!

Maybe she already does. I wonder if she and her fellow mites ever pray to us, or blame us to the natural disasters in her world. We could smite a whole family with the heel of our shoe, or cause a torrential flood with our garden hose, in which a few survivors climb onto a leaf and float away, to start a new mite infestation in some other rose garden.

And just like Midge, there are surely greater civilizations than ours, with technology and discoveries that we cannot not even hope to comprehend, things that would literally blow our minds.

They would knock the smug arrogance right off of our faces.

I walk back to the window to find my dishwater is cold and Midge is gone. Google says mites only live for about 18 days, so she has surely passed on by now. But I think about Midge from time to time and hope that she knows the impression she made on me in her short life.

There is indeed significance in being insignificant.

Humanity

About the author

Random Thoughts

Flailing Human. Educator. Wife. Mom. Grandma. People Watcher. Laughing through life.

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