Robert Birming

Why so serious?

I recently did work in the Swedish archipelago. So beautiful! On days like that, it's hard to believe you're at work.

This time, the sky opened up, and the rain poured down for a short while. The sky looked amazingly powerful as I stood on the shore and looked out over the ocean.

It's stunning how small you feel at times like this. Not only that, but your worries and problems also feel small. Things that you otherwise attach great importance to suddenly don’t feel all that important there and then. You just stand there with your smallness somewhere in the vastness of the universe and marvel — everything stops.

A few hours later, I stepped ashore, jumped on my bike, and felt how everyday life was slowly but surely making its way back…

"I have to stop at the grocery store on the way home. Oh, I almost forgot; I have to do laundry today. I wonder if I can make it to the gym. On the last day of the month, I have to remember to report my working hours. Oh yeah, I have to log and send in my expenses for the month.”

Things that need to be done. They don’t get done by standing and staring straight up at the sky in an attempt to make them small enough to disappear.

But now and then, we can try to remind ourselves of the emptiness that surrounds all these little musts and problems. Our inner, limitless space can teach us not to take everything so seriously.