One of my all time favourite authors is Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (and more) – he was a fabulous thinker and showed more insight into the workings of the Universe than people might think. He was a ‘radical atheist’ and yet a deeply spiritual thread ran through his writing – a faith, it seems to me, in the spirit and power of humanity and of Who We Are.
One of my favourite HHGTG stories is that of Zaphod Beeblebrox, when he has been sentenced to death in the “Total Perspective Vortex” – a machine so fiendish that “when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, ‘You are here.’”
The shock of this realisation of the victim’s total insignificance is apparently so huge that it annihilates the brain.
However, when the door is opened on the vortex after Zaphod has entered, he walks out, snatches the piece of cake that powers the device (a long story) and walks off… when asked what he experienced, whether he saw the Universe, and his relationship to it. “Yes”, comes the reply. “And?” “And I’m Zaphod Beeblebrox”.
So why do I tell that story? Why do I love it so much? Because it reminds me just who I am. Because it reminds me of my importance in this Universe. Each one of us is unique, with our own set of gifts, with our own mission on this earth. Each one of us has something special to bring to this planet, a special contribution to make. No-one else can make that contribution. No-one else can be ‘you’. I can stand up and say “Hey, I’m Timothy Hodgson” – and be proud of that.
You’re not ‘just one in seven billion’. You are a special, unique, incredible, amazing and totally irreplaceable ‘one in seven billion’. If you don’t give your gift, the world loses out.
Maybe it’s time to stand up a little straighter, a little prouder, with a bigger gleam in your eye – look yourself in the mirror and like what you see. Maybe it’s time to stop calling yourself an idiot when you do something ‘wrong’. Maybe it’s time to see the perspective in your life.
It’s actually taken me a long time to really learn to like myself – and I probably still have some learning to do there – but I make sure that I give myself positive strokes, that I remind myself how well I am doing – that I allow myself to be all I can possibly be.
So what’s the true perspective? Know how important you really are. Know what you’re capable of. As a friend of mine says, if you could see yourself as God sees you, you would smile a lot.
So will you do me a favour? Get a true sense of perspective. Step out from the shadows. Let your light shine. Give your gift. Be all you can possibly be – and let’s rock this world together.
PS – I’ll soon be launching my new web site with new products and giveaways – so watch this space (because I’m stepping out of the shadows too)