I believe that intelligence manifests itself not through expression or formality, but through observation and genuine curiosity. Observing nature is always an awe-inspiring, spiritual experience for me; I could sit and watch waves crash for hours.
The ocean, in particular, reminds me how incredibly fascinating our planet is, and how little we know, despite what we think we know. There is nothing more humbling than being face-to-face with something so much bigger than yourself.
But I often wonder why nature inspires us, and why we’re in awe of certain scenery, and why we find these landscapes, oceans, and stars so breathtaking. We haven’t done anything to earn this awe, so why do we feel it?
It is this very question that leads me to believe our most inspired state, then, is not one of accomplishment, but of humility. I think we naturally fall in love with places that prove how small we are… places that humble us with reminders that we have so much more to learn, so much more to grow; that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Our significance lies in such potential, in that quiet recognition of the stardust in our bones and the oceans in our minds, knowing that a new sunrise paints our skies every day of our lives. And by virtue of just being—by existing—nature gives us free front row seats. It’s like we’ve won the evolutionary lottery.
That’s why I find it perplexing that we live such misdirected, consumed lives. We could quite literally not exist at all; we could be nothing, we could be incapable of perceiving any of this. All of us are always just one unexpected phone call, one diagnosis, one broken heart, one newfound love, and one moment away from being completely different people with completely different priorities.
Indeed, how frail we are. And yet, how blessed we are. You see, those seemingly insignificant moments spent with nature remind you of what’s important; they remind you that all we reallyhave is our consciousness, and each other. After all, what is life without either? I would say, then, that it matters little what we’ve “achieved” if those achievements are not also in service of others. The sense of purpose we feel when we give… far outweighs what is derived from any achievement. Unlike a trophy, which fades into darkness, giving has a glory that lasts a lifetime.