Pay attention and you will see that you are connected to something much bigger than yourself.
You are connected to everything.
Have you ever been alone in your room at night and just felt like you could disappear from the world without anyone knowing? I used to have episodes like that during my University years, where I would literally imagine myself dying alone in my studio and no one else would even know. That was a little scary and yeah it’s a little weird how my mind even went there. I was aware that I felt disconnected but I didn’t know why.
Feeling a sense of connection with the rest of the world is important for ever single human being on Earth. I believe that it can improve our mental health.
I’m no different from anyone else. I used to live in my own bubble because it was comfortable and I was surrounded by people who were the same. Slowly, I became more and more conscious, and now I see how my decisions can impact people that I do not know, animals that I have never seen, or land that I will never stand on in my lifetime.
You may feel this sense of connection when you study your family tree, when you take a walk in nature, or simply when a stranger smiles at you. The triggers are different for everyone. Apparently another way to develop this deep connection is by becoming an astronaut and looking down at Earth from space. But of course, we cannot all be astronauts.
I watched a TED talk a few nights ago by Benjamin Grant. He is the founder of a unique project called ‘The Daily Overview‘ that captures satellite images of the Earth and uploads them onto the world wide web for the public to view at their own convenience. The project is based off of a phenomenon called The Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect is “the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That’s the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire.” – Mission statement on their website
The images I saw were both beautiful and yet disturbing. For example, the image above shows the growth of ‘cyanobacteria’ in the Baltic Sea. Large blooms of this marine bacteria can cause an oxygen-depleted dead zone where other organisms cannot survive. Scientists believe that the cause for their growth is actually human-made. The bacteria is more likely to form from agricultural and industrial run-off or from cruise ships because of the dumping of sewage. Source imagery: NASA
Another one of my favourite shots is this:
In this current world, it’s easier to plug in than to unplug. Although I know that everyone can benefit from unplugging from technology time to time, it is not always possible. So instead of lamenting about it, I wish to take advantage of the internet to help spread a positive message. Since information spreads like wildfire nowadays, my motivation is to use social media to spread compassion and love. I want to market peace like how ad agencies market diamonds.
By using the right images, texts, and sounds, I hope to catalyze a cognitive shift in people’s minds so that they can explore themselves more closely, and to find true peace and happiness.