Life Is Short.


Is life long or short? To answer that, I should first decide if I’m talking about a single human lifespan. Let’s say, yes. If I take the current average human lifespan and round it up to 100, I then need to determine from whose point of view am I measuring?

100 years, looking at it from any single human point of view, is long. In fact, I could say that it’s the longest thing most humans can possibly experience.

But if I look at it from an objective, universal point of view, 100 years is very short; it’s an instant, a beat, a single point in time.

I did some calculations: if a regular human life was one second long, then the human species’ existence (6 million years being a reasonable estimate) can be measured to be around 17 hours long. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like much, I invite you to close your eyes right now and count to 5 seconds to imagine the length of 5 human generations at this timescale. It’s also worth noting that most humans lifespans were less than half a second long until the last few minutes of the 17 hour period.

So again, if I assume humans evolved 6 million years ago and the average human lifespan today is 100 years, then I can convert those numbers into understandable terms by saying: the human species came into existence 17 hours ago and no single human spent more than 1 second alive.

But somehow they managed to gather and share enough knowledge through these minuscule moments to build the world we live in today.

Life is short. Yes, that is a cliché. But it’s one that can be used to remind myself that I’m collaborating on a bigger ongoing project. I’m here to do my shift. I’ve already clocked in. Now I have to do my work. At the end of my shift, I will clock out knowing somebody else will take over.

Now I will do my work.