In these waning moments of 2017, take a moment to consider a number…67,108. You’ve never before had to ponder 67,108, yet it has significance in your life. In fact, it’s existence has universal meaning to all of us and reveals an important lesson if we pause to reflect on it.
67,108 is the speed that the Earth is traveling around the Sun. 67,108 miles per hour. Since you’ve been reading this post, we have traveled about 500 miles of a 1.6 million mile daily journey at 67,108 miles per hour.
The simplest secular description of our existence is that we are permanent passengers on a big rock hurtling through space around a massive ball of fire. We can’t control it. It’s been happening for a long, long time before we got here. It will continue long after we are gone. It’s all a little humbling when you think about it.
Yet, we tend to forget this immutable reality in the face of traffic, work deadlines, news cycles, and whatever daily challenges we allow to become crises. We succumb to letting task lists and other people’s opinions drive our thoughts, actions, and influence. We lose perspective.
Pondering 67,108 offers the sobering enlightenment that our existence is unfathomably small and every moment is incalculably fleeting…which makes what we do with every moment immeasurably important.
Perhaps 2018 is the year we commit to keeping the big picture in mind. Perhaps it’s time to take our attention away from the daily distractions, or at least be intentional about how much importance we give them. Perhaps we spend more time with family. Perhaps we focus on people a bit more, and pledge to have meaningful, lasting impact on those we lead instead of simply demanding work from them. Our only legacy, after all, is the influence that lives on in others.
Perhaps we write 67,108 on a Post-It note to greet us at the mirror each morning, reminding us that we are small, and life is short, so we should stay humble and make every moment profound.
Happy New Year!