There are sometimes photos which float around Tumblr and Facebook which are pictures of galaxies. They’ll point out with an arrow at a tiny patch of nothing and state “that’s where you are.”
The point is to put your life in perspective as a simple matter of scale: you are a tiny patch of existence in a huge universe much older than you’ll ever truly understand. So chill out and enjoy it.
I find that the effect can be repeated, in a sense, in large transportation hubs like train stations or airports. I mean the big ones, like international airports. The kinds of places where you can see the list of departures, all of which are heading somewhere far away and very different. This means there are people coming and going from these places, either tourists travelling there, migrants going back and forth, immigrants coming from there, and so on.
This has an effect twofold:
The first is in having the plain evidence ahead of you of just how big the world is. You see distant cities, and people from them, and going to and from them, and it just represents a sense of scale.
The second is in perceiving the people themselves. You can build a story by watching people. You can see who the tourists are, who the travelling students are, who the retirees are, who the backpackers are, who the business travellers are… and so on. Indeed, in any large collection of humanity, just being observant of the people around you can give you a sense of the vast wealth of variety in human experience, but the effect is multiplied by international transportation hubs bringing the world to you, in a sense.
This is probably a big reason why TCKs love airports. They remind them of a bigger world that they feel comfortable to be a part of.
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