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“The thing that’s the worst part is that a hundred years from now, hell, we ain’t even gotta wait that long, the next day, ain’t a living soul gonna care. Not a single memory of who you were is gonna survive. You won’t have left a mark, and nobody will even know you were ever here. You will be dead way before you die. You understand what I’m trying to tell you?”
–Marion Isaac McClinton, from the play “Hunters of the Soul”



1. Start with a simple but surprising fact, something you might have learned in kindergarten. For example, if all the insects in the entire world were stacked on the seat of a giant teeter-totter, and all the human beings in the world were stacked on the other side, the insects would weigh more.

2. Think about this for five minutes. Stay with it.

3. Start asking questions. Am I important? Am I unique? Am I as fleeting and insignificant as a butterfly and not as pretty?

4. Apply these themes to your relationships with other people. For example, if I don’t matter, than the stylishness of my workout clothes doesn’t matter, and my place on the social ladder doesn’t matter, and test scores don’t matter. Money doesn’t even matter. Maybe I should be nicer to other people and stop elbowing my way to the front.

5. Think about something else.