Last night as I was fighting a particularly bad bout of insomnia, I came across this comic strip from folks over at sci-ence. Keeping with the week’s theme, it reminds us that even when it seems that nothing is happening and boredom starts to creep in, that in this fantastic universe of ours, “nothing” never happens.
We used to be able to say things like ‘the vast nothingness of space” and have an idea of what that meant. But we know there is, in fact, lots of ‘things’ in between the regular ‘stuff’ in space. Dark matter, dark energy, virtual particles, the fabric of spacetime itself. These are things we cannot get rid of without stepping outside the known boundaries of our universe. The more we discover the more nothing recedes into abstraction and I really like when familiar concepts we take for granted are overturned upon scrutiny.
Nadir, the author of the comic strip, writes, and I heartily agree, that
I’m encouraged* whenever I see young kids interested in the mechanics of reality and want to tell them not to ever stop questioning those who give them answers.. . . I heard Neil Tyson give an interview where he mentioned how he had decided early on never to stop his children from exploring no matter how dirty they got or what they broke in the house. That curiosity for reality becomes so ephemeral during teen years that anything to cement it early on sounds to me like a good thing.
Let’s keep fostering in us, our kids, and each other, that sense of magic and wonder at all that this amazing planet has to offer. Reminding ourselves and each other of the importance of living with open eyes, minds, and hearts is quite possibly one of the best gifts that we can give.