Sometimes people get so caught up in the minutiae of everyday life, they can’t see the miniscule role human beings actually play in the greater scheme of things. That’s why whenever I feel stressed, I find it comforting to imagine the tininess of my existence compared to the grander parts of creation. ‘Cause when it comes down to it, I’m just so incredibly humbled to realize I’m nothing but a speck of dust in the universe of my exponentially growing student debt.
Thinking about the immensity of my student debt brings tears to my eyes, because its scale seems nearly impossible. But then I remember how within that universe of debt, there are at least 100 million even tinier student debt payments to be made in fractional increments over the course of my lifetime. Then I can’t help but think to myself, “Wow! I’m the size of a pinhead, yet I live in this enormous solar system of rapidly interest-accruing loans owed to the federal government.”
Every time I think this, I feel humbled and completely in awe of the miracle that is our for-profit educational system, primarily as a means of financially trapping us at an age when we are most vulnerable to near-permanent financial entrapment. What a reverent thing to consider!
Whenever I make my monthly payment of $237.90, I’m reminded of Carl Sagan’s famous “Pale Blue Dot” speech, where he refers to the Earth as “…a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” In much the same vein, I myself am nothing but a small pawn on the unimaginably huge cosmic chessboard of my crushing student debt, which will always be a thousand moves ahead of me in terms of ruining my life and making me feel very, very insignificant.
I’m not a religious person but envisioning that kind of enormity makes want to pray.
If you ever need humbling, just try conceiving of how tiny you are compared to the billions and billions of dollars Sallie Mae has made off those seeking higher education. That should really give you some perspective. I mean, there’s no other planet in the universe that can sustain life like Earth – life intelligent enough to build up civilizations, and for student loan companies to convince Congress that private industry should finance college educations for profit. None. We’re literally the only form of life that does this to each other. How beautiful is that?
So step back for a moment, think about your tiny place in the universe of your student loans, and feel humbled that you exist at all.