Smacked by Smallness

I get so wrapped up in myself sometimes. A lot of times. I think about my plans for the future, how I can avoid certain situations when I don’t feel up to it, and what I am going to eat later. I easily make this life about me. However, all this gives me is a lot of anxiety. To be honest, it is pretty miserable for me to live this way. When I find myself sinking into this hole of solipsism, I simply begin to acknowledge the fact of existence. I pick my head up and let my eyes see the world instead of naval gazing. There is something so precious about recognizing one’s own smallness. It allows life to be full of life, and not a narrow pathway that we must perfectly walk through. There is freedom in encountering your own smallness. Letting it smack you in the face. You return to the world with fresh eyes.

The primary reason for this post is to share this quote by the incredible Italian poet and philosopher Giacomo Leopardi:

No one thing shows the greatness and power of the human intellect or the loftiness and nobility of man more than his ability to know and to understand fully and feel strongly his own smallness. When, in considering the multiplicity of worlds, he feels himself to be an infinitesimal part of a globe which itself is a negligible part of one of the infinite number of systems that go to make up the world, and in considering this is astonished by his own smallness, and in feeling it deeply and regarding it intently, virtually blends into nothing, and it is as if he loses himself in the immensity of things, and finds himself as though lost in the incomprehensible vastness of existence, with this single act of thought he gives the greatest possible proof of the nobility and immense capability of his own mind, which, enclosed in such a small and negligible being, has nonetheless managed to know and understand things so superior to his own nature, and to embrace and contain this same intensity of existence and things in his thought.

Sometimes we might shy away from this fact of existence because if we are so small then we are consequentially insignificant. However, I don’t think our smallness reduces our significance, but, rather, it implies it.

1 thought on “Smacked by Smallness

  1. Great share of the quote, really stirred me up just then!

    Liked by 1 person

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