I have to admit, I’m a total sucker for images like this one captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. I bet it captures your attention, too!
If you’re like most people, including me, it’s not just the psychedelic beauty of what NASA has identified as a “veil nebula” that grabs your attention. It’s also knowing that this crystal clear image reaches us from billions of miles away, and that the celestial debris captured for us to view is actually from a supernova explosion in the Cygnus constellation 8,000 years ago! Not to mention the fact that such remarkable beauty is the byproduct of a very violent, catastrophic event.
Each of our lives has beauty and power that we rarely appreciate and will likely never fully know.
I don’t know about you, but seeing the remains of this exploded star gets me thinking about all kinds of things – like legacy, and the long-term impact of long-forgotten moments, and the fact that what counts as destruction from one perspective can be quite creative and inspiring from another. It also reminds me that long-gone gifts (both things and people) can still reach me today with remarkable beauty and power.
So without belaboring these issues, I just want to invite the possibility that we open ourselves to the ways in which our lives can have the impact – if not the scope – of a supernova. We can live in ways that create legacies that will impact others in ways that nobody can predict, suggesting that each of our lives has beauty and power that we rarely appreciate and will likely never fully know.
The takeaway? Live more and worry less, and let nature takes its course. And believe me when I say that I’m writing this advice as much to myself as I am to you!
Spend a few moments with this image, and see where it takes you; what it suggests to you about the world in which we live and the idea that measuring your impact may be far more complex and long-term than most measures of success any of us have been taught.
Image credit: NASA.gov/YouTube.com
Brad Hirschfield is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Brad has been featured on ABC’s Nightline UpClose, PBS’s Frontline, Fox News and National Public Radio. He wrote a long-standing column, “For God’s Sake,” for the Washington Post, and has also written for The Huffington Post and Beliefnet.com. He authored the book, You Don?t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism. Brad also serves as President of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.