The only reason we need to celebrate the New Year—and every year until we die

Illustration for article titled The only reason we need to celebrate the New Year—and every year until we die

The New Year is here. A unit of time that doesn’t mean anything to the Universe—stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, quasars, dark matter, and the other living beings that for sure populate the cosmos don’t care about the arbitrary dates that we little humans have created. And yet, we celebrate.


We celebrate this time despite the fact that, in countless places around the Universe—an estimated 100 million black holes in our galaxy alone—time doesn’t even exist. And that’s good. Because, despite the misery all around us, we have reason to rejoice.

Carl Sagan wrote that “our planet is just a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.” But what an amazing speck this is! We live in a world full of wonders. All around us there’s life, endless combinations of beings of all shapes and color. And we humans, while capable of the most terrible things, have a seemingly infinite capacity to do good. Science, technology and art never cease to surprise us, every day.

We live in the cosmic dark, yes, but we are part of that darkness too—and the light. We are the cosmos itself. We are made with the atoms of stars that exploded many billions of years ago. We came to be out of matter and energy to know ourselves and to know what surrounds us. We are a way for the Universe to take consciousness of itself. In countless planets, other beings exist, all made of the same atoms we are made of. Like us, they are searching for answers.

We don’t know any of those beings. We only know a handful of people in this pale blue dot that we inhabit, lost in a far away rim of a galaxy, millions of light years away from other stars and galaxies.

It can feel really lonely here, especially when we know that the only thing that is certain is the void at the end of our existence, a thought that—like any good Spaniard, a culture with death present everywhere—occupies my mind every day.

People have asked me how I could live without believing in some deity and the afterlife. How sad and empty I must feel, they think. But the fact is that, for all my angst caused by the void, I feel more alive than most people I know. Alive and lucky that, in all the immensity of space, a place that we can barely comprehend, I’ve been bestowed with the privilege of meeting the people I love. An overwhelming chain of events shaped our lives and made all of us meet in the immensity of this cosmos. Right here. Right now. That’s truly amazing.


How lucky we are. How happy we should be, even if things don’t work out as we want. We should put aside our angst and sadness and hate. Instead, we should be conscious of what we have and cherish the brief time we share, the supernovas of genuine love and care that shine in this tiny planet with the light of a million gods. Life, my friends, is good. To be is everything—and being is the only reason we need to celebrate.

So happy new year indeed. And happy life. Our best wishes from all of us at Sploid.

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I really appreciate the existential sentiments expressed here. I come from from a big conservative religious family, and I'm always struggling to express my unique beliefs that lie somewhere between science and spirituality.

I really hope to see, within my lifetime, a general movement out of insular religious thinking in regards to the universe at large. The Catholic church at least seems to have a respect for science, they even have an observatory in Rome, probably more but I'm no expert. But looking at Southern Baptist and such, you'd think we never moved past thinking the earth is flat.