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 human 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 with each other through consecutive generations 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.
Act well your part. There all the honour lies.