Once upon a time a baby was born, the same as millions and millions of others around the world. He was nurtured and raised in a good home (unlike millions and millions around the world) and received the benefits of a loving family, lots of friends, and the best education money could buy. His parents were very proud of their only son. “We love you, support you, and are right behind you… explore the world and make the most of your life, privilege, and opportunities,” they told him.
The boy grew into manhood and attended an elite university, applied himself well, worked hard…. and eventually chose a path of academic study and research. He studied stars and galaxies, planets and moons, black holes, how asteroids are born and how one could explore deeper into the vastness of the ‘world up there and far away’. He became extremely knowledgeable and very famous. The proudest moment of his life was having a star named after him and receiving a prestigious award for his contributions to research and the development of human understanding of the universe. He beamed on the podium and genuinely thanked his parents and fellow researchers for their love and support through all the years.
Eventually, as is the path of all humanity, the final whistle was blown, the curtain dropped, his last breath fell from his lips like crumpled silk – and he died.
It was only then that he looked down on his life and saw his whole world confined to the paradigms and size of a sandbox – no bigger than a matchbox. There was so much more beyond – he had no idea! He began to feel very small and rather stupid…. like a kid who had spent his entire life figuring out how his one toy robot worked. Finally he does..”I cracked it!” he shouts with pride awaiting the applause. Silence follows, no-one’s looking and very few care…..
Then a figure appeared before him whom he had vague recollections of meeting as a child. But this person was unlike anyone he’d ever encountered before. All the knowledge and wisdom he’d built his life and identity upon, his sense of purpose and meaning evaporated. He’d set and marked thousands of final examination papers…. “I didn’t anticipate this,” he thought with pounding heart.
“Do you love me?” Final question – final answer……??????