“We’re All Just a Bunch of Pebbles Who’ve Been Thrown in this Pond”

By: Ali Sakr

You are a star. No, I’m not joking, and no, I’m not talking about being some famous celebrity everyone loves. You’re the other kind of star – you know – like the Sun. To be more specific, you were a star. We all were.

Let’s take a trip back to the dawn of time, when the universe was just a messy cosmic soup of Hydrogen and Helium. Clusters of these gases formed and due to gravity, they got denser and denser, eventually forming stars when they started fusion. Normally, stars of average size die, the most complex element formed inside of them being iron, but when a star 8 to 60 times the size of our Sun dies, it goes out with a bang. This bang, also known as a supernova, creates all sorts of complex and heavy elements like the gold and platinum we use today. Some of these elements just so happened to be shot into the general direction where our solar system would exist, be among of the 1% of matter that wasn’t sucked into our Sun, and finally come to form everything we know and love
here on Earth (and Earth) today, including us! Let that sink in for a moment. The atoms that form you right now used to be in a star. Anyway, trip’s over, time to go back to the present.
Ok ok, FINE, one more trip..but we won’t go as far back this time, just the dawn of humanity. The universe is a blank slate, an empty canvas painted on only by the innocence of non-sapient life. It’s a pond in an era of no wind; no waves or ripples have yet emerged. An odd calmness resonates in the staleness of a surface that – to this
moment – has never experienced change, but then, we come along. A slow breeze steadily growing into an unrivaled tempest. All silence is broken. All serenity becomes chaos. The waves begin. We as humanity have brought more change to the Earth than any species to have existed before us. Like a tiny pebble, plopped into a pond so vast it extends beyond the horizon, we’ve been so gracefully flung into this infinite pile of emptiness, which we call our ever so humble universe, and we can’t yet seem to wrap our heads around the fact that, like the pebble, we will create a ripple unlike anything the pond has ever witnessed. With nothing to oppose it, this first ripple hasn’t stopped since the day the first human was born, and with each new baby, one more pebble is dropped into its centre, re-enforcing its many layers – I don’t think we’ll be dying out any time soon. Or at least, not the waves we leave behind. If all of us were to suddenly disappear, remnants of our once thriving civilisation would remain. And we are currently living proof that everything resonates. Remember those
stars I talked about last trip? You’re the remnants.

So, maybe it’s all connected. Maybe when an action is taken, no matter its magnitude, waves are made, and these waves never stop. Maybe even long after their source has died, they’ll keep resonating, till the end of time. Who knows, though? They might just die out at the end as well, just like their source – we just don’t know that yet, and I
think we never will. What I’m sure of, though, is that our actions make waves too. You know how with the Butterfly Effect, every fictional character who travels back in time is so afraid of making even the slightest alteration, in fear of causing much greater consequences in the future? Who’s to say any slight alteration in the
presence won’t do the same?

We’re all just a bunch of pebbles who’ve been thrown into this huge pond. We, like all pebbles, will sink to the bottom – we’ll all die eventually. What won’t die, though, are the waves and ripples we leave behind. For all we know, this pond’s infinite, and there’s nothing stopping the waves we make from propagating till the very end which might not even exist. No pressure, but, the consequences of all your actions might just live long after you’ve died. Scary thought, huh? Slightly comforting too; you’re going to leave a ripple in this pond, whether you like it or not, so make sure you do your best to make it one you’d be proud of. Hell, you should make the stars proud.

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