Neil DeGrasse Tyson is my hero…today. I love watching him on talk shows, and on documentaries. And now, I love listening to him read his newest book: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.
He’s my hero of the day because he is passionate about the universe and within that passion, he has honed wisdom about life.
In the final chapter of the book, he explains why it’s so important to have a cosmic perspective of life. It’s a new way of stating what I’ve tried to do for most of my life: look at the bigger picture.
When you do that, you pay attention to more than how your husband irritates you when he interrupts you in mid-sentence and also remember how he put his day on hold to rescue you from a flat tire, built a pottery studio in your basement, supports your dream of being a writer.
When you have a cosmic perspective, you pay attention to more than the construction that has narrowed the highway to one lane and also notice the number of construction workers who can support their families, the potholes that will disappear, the beauty of the flowers in the new median strip or the convenience of that larger water pipe being buried.
When you have a cosmic perspective, you pay attention to more than the political labels and branding and notice how that candidate’s votes impacted our earth, took care of those with mental or physical illnesses, help the less fortunate, protect our young, defuse violence, care about the other people with whom we share this world.
The final chapter had me thinking about connection…in a broader John Donne “No Man is an Island” sort of way, because none of us are an island. Everything I do impacts you in some way…some day…maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in 10 years when you meet my former student who’s now a doctor in the hospital where you are being treated. Will you benefit from the kindnesses I may have shown her or suffer from the harsh way I judged her? What would you rather experience?
Or maybe tomorrow, you’ll ask one of my children for help and they’ll respond out of the lessons they learned in MY home about looking out for number one…or respond out of the lessons they learned about how we’re all connected and all responsible for the way we treat each other. Which would you prefer?
But don’t just skip to the last chapter of Neil’s book…can I call him Neil? I don’t think he’d mind. 🙂
If you skip to the last chapter, you’ll miss out on the reason he says “Einstein was a badass.”
And you’ll miss the tongue-in-cheek explanation that ends with the idea we may be descendants of Martians! Don’t want to miss that, do you?
If you’ve read the book, or are currently reading the book, leave your comments. Let’s talk about the Cosmos like only those in the “Neil is our Hero” fan club can!