Kin Lane

An Asteroid Hitting the Earth Brings Me Comfort

I tweeted out a story about the possibility of an asteroid hitting earth a couple weeks back. Joking that finally there was some good news. While I was joking, the article did bring me a brief moment of comfort. On the surface I’d say that making a dark joke about this entire world being taken out by an asteroid is not anything new, or particularly funny. However, saying it did make me feel good for a brief moment, allowing me to laugh about the absurdity of the times we live in, and that making a joke about the world ending would make one feel better. It wasn’t just me. I had several other folks reply saying the thought brought them a moment of joy-—even if it was just a brief moment of dark humor.

Of course I don’t want the world to end. I do not want millions of people to die. However, I do appreciate the occasional thought shakes the snow globe that is my reality and gets me thinking more about a positive way forward. Reading a news headline that an asteroid might hit earth gives me pause. Leaves me in a moment where climate change, Trump, technology, and the other challenges in our world become laughably insignificant. I mean Trumps bullshit pales in comparison to an asteroid blasting into the earth. I’d say that the thought of an asteroid hitting the earth has a similar impact on my reality of concerns today, as it would when it slams into the physical ground. Time stops, everything gets shattered, and then we are forced to put everything back together again. Even if it is just for a brief virtual moment inside my own head. For a glorious few seconds I’m left without concerns, darkly chuckling at the absurdity of everything.

In the 70s and 80s I grew up with a pretty dark outlook on the future. Whether it was a collective belief of perpetual financial collapse of the world around us, the Russians bombing us into oblivion, or the government coming for us all, there wasn’t much reason to hold out hope for the future. Through experience I know that you begin to see the world different when you live in information starved reality, with numerous existential threats looming on the horizon. While it may seem bleak to think about, there is actually a lot of comfort, and numerous opportunities for success in this state of mind. If you perpetually think the world could end any moment, you begin to live your life differently. Other threats are significantly diminished. You begin to find a lot of comfort in knowing that everything you know will be shattered just around the corner. Why save money? The whole system is going to collapse. Why go to college? The world will end before you’ll ever graduate. Eventually your fear brings you more comfort than actually living.

While I operate in an entirely different universe these days, with much more hope and optimism about the future. Reading a headline about an asteroid possibly hitting the earth pushes on the same dopamine button in my brain that hearing about nuclear war would in 1981. This absurd reality will be obliterated. Ha ha ha! It can be easy to keep wanting to push that button. However, in 2020 hindsight is everything, and I would just prefer living today. Even with all of its challenges. I am not going to dwell on doom and gloom. I’m not going to miss out on living because I’m paralyzed by current toxicity and hopelessness of our modern wold. I can however, enjoy a brief chuckle about an asteroid that has no chance of hitting us, and use it as a prop for lightening my momentary load. There is too much to do, and too much to experience to spend any time fretting over might be. Allowing myself to find more comfort in just being part of the world around me, rather than allowing myself to be paralyzed along the roadside of this journey we find ourselves on together.