Have you ever had a moment in your life when you become completely overwhelmed by the thought of how big the world is?
If not, then take a second right now to look out a window and take note of how much you can see. Even if you’re staring out to a neighbour’s brick wall there’s actually quite a lot you can see if you look hard enough. Cracks, bugs, mortar, dirt, dust, maybe some vines or moss, a leaf that just blew by, a stick that fell from a bird flying up above.
Now that you’ve done that, think about the whole world again. An entire planet with oceans full of creatures and plants, deserts of sand and dust, forests, mountains, rivers, valleys, cities, jungles, suburbia, underground caves, underground railroads.
There are so many places you’ve never seen, smelt, touched, breathed, it is (to me anyways) completely unfathomable how large the world we live in is. Yet every day we wake up and live out our lives in our own little bubble of the world, unaware of what’s happening often even a few miles away, let alone on another continent. There is so much out there, so much to learn, to be told, so many people, and their experiences I will never know anything about.
I think this is part of the reason kids like to play make-believe so much. They can create an entire world and experience to explore in their own backyard. They can be a hero saving a country, a tiger on the prowl for dinner, a firefighter rescuing kittens, or even the villain robbing a bank. We make-believe so we can have the chance to live out a life we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience, because we haven’t figured out how to transform into animals (yet), or more realistically, because the world is just too darn vast, and sometimes dangerous to explore in real life.
I played make-believe much further into my childhood than most kids. I couldn’t let go of the magical world I could create in my head. To be completely honest, I still can’t. To fall asleep at night I make up scenarios in my mind and close my eyes and live them out while I drift off to hopefully dream about the same things. This is a huge reason why I love theatre and entertainment. It’s basically the adult version of make-believe! Whether you’re the one creating, or the one watching, you can be transported into another world, time, life, dimension, and experience something that’s unknown or untouchable. It makes the overwhelming largeness of the world seem a little less intimidating, and it makes the wealth of experiences in your life so much richer.
Even though there is so much world out there I will probably never see or know, it’s really exciting to know that I have the honour during this collective to peek into several strangers’ lives and learn about their experiences and how they see the world around them. And what’s even more exciting is that after all of that, we get to take that new knowledge and turn it into an experience for even more people to live.
Featured Image by Maria Pace-Wynters