The Effect of an Individual

the ripple effect

One of today’s biggest misconceptions is that we believe our individual choices are not affecting the world. We believe that we affect each other, situations and stories, but not the whole world. Not climate change, not global poverty, not the stock market, and certainly not war. Well each day you eat a vegan diet you save 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds (20 kgs) of grain, 30 sq ft (2.8 m2) of forested land, 20 lbs (9 kgs) of CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. Every choice you make is having a global impact. The clothes you wear, the groceries you buy, the car you drive, the people you vote for, and the mood you’re in. We are interconnected so tightly that when one market crashes on the other side of the world the price of bread you buy everyday quadruples. The Oil Embargo of 1979 had Americans living in instant restriction, because a country 7500 miles away decided to increase the price of oil. Twenty years ago there was no social media, cell phones were large devices without screens, and twenty countries did not exist. The average human life expectancy today is 78 years and if you make it living the good old career based life; you will meet around 80,000 people. You will see three generations. Each one of those people will also meet the same amount of people. It is the age of information, its as easy as watching a Netflix documentary to know exactly how every one of our daily choices is affecting everything, yet still we refuse to believe how crucial we are at the microscopic level.

When a star dies in an event known as a supernova, a cataclysmic explosion releases an explosive force equivalent to a quantity of TNT over a trillion times the mass of planet Earth. It lasts 100 seconds, yet produces more energy than our sun will release in its ten billion year lifetime. Star dust is catapulted out at 67 million miles/hour (30,000 km/sec) and when there are approximately 30 supernova’s happening per second in the observable universe, gravity brings together the ashes generating nuclear fusion reactions that give birth to new stars. At their early stages much like our sun, stars consist of almost nothing but hydrogen particles, which makes up three quarters of the mass of the entire universe. Over billions of years stars are essentially furnaces fusing hydrogen particles to make helium, and helium’s to make beryllium and so it continues up the periodic table until every element is made including carbon, the building block of all life on Earth and perhaps the whole universe. This is released only when a star’s life ends in a supernova. We are essentially stardust, born of the death of one star and the life of another. We are products of the most immense events in space brought about by the fusion of atoms.

Little things come together. Just as hydrogen atoms create stars, pebbles forge mountains, and streams coalesce oceans. Thoughts produce consciousness. We are the packaged product of our thoughts, the actions of our perception. When I buy a yellow car suddenly there are a hundred yellow cars on the road. When I am in a good mood the world lights up and when I am grey, the world is utter doom. There are no barriers even though we have physically created them. Borders do not exist, doors can be broken down, and personal boundaries are as variable as the people who erect them. Yet here we are confidently believing we are different, that we breathe different air and occupy different land. There is not even an absolute you, or I, if we were not relative to each other. I cannot be me, without you to see me. Interact with me. Mold who I am, and you cannot be you without the entirety of our life experience. Even if you were living in the most remote part of Earth, the temperature you will experience is a direct action of how many planes I have taken, how many miles I have driven, how many animals I have eaten and how aware I choose to be of my individual impact on your life. You see if I randomly walk up to you in a coffee shop and say you look like a clown, you would either punch me or demand respect. Why are you not then demanding that I stop buying artificial food so you can stop having cancer? Why are you not demanding that I reduce my carbon footprint so you can stop having lung disease? Why are you not telling me to stop buying soda so you can afford clean water? Why is it that even when we know for a fact that we can save our selves, our children and this planet simply by swapping one ingredient for another, we continue to cause harm? I don’t know, but it is still a choice made. I may not change the world but I am of the world. I am of love. I am of peace. I am of abundance, just like you. We are the little things that come together expressing the same science that creates the universe. We are the ones who think beyond our tiny lives yet live knowing we are life itself. We are momentary blips of light guided in conscious space, finding each other in darkness, longing to embrace. And when the choice is made to end this human trace, may life enshrine the mother whose birth seeds grace.




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