look at the stars

William Liao
2 min readJun 16, 2024

I often look at the stars, and reflect on how 4.6 billion years ago a star exploded creating an incredible chain reaction of events that, yes, led to whatever stressful problems I’m experiencing and that you may be experiencing…but it also led to the blooming flowers in my backyard, Yosemite in all its majesty, the ocean, my family, my friends.

In a recent interview with Rick Rubin, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor, author, and meditation teacher spoke beautifully of this chain reaction: “[it] resulted in this constellation of atoms and molecules in the form of you waking up this morning. Holy moly. Maybe I shouldn’t miss this. Maybe I shouldn’t jump out of bed on autopilot, but really appreciate the amazingness of being in the body.”

We become so used to our human condition and its woes that it’s easy to forget that a miracle is happening in front of us every day that is worthy of our awe — an exploding star, to stardust, to being in your body, being conscious, being able to experience laughter so intense your stomach hurts, to feel immense joy when something meaningful exists in your life, to feel great sorrow when it passes that, as painful as it is, we wouldn’t give up if it meant never having that meaningful person or thing in our lives.

No amount of reflection on these things will make our problems or insecurities fully go away, but it can absolutely lift some of the weight off our shoulders by humbling our attitude towards them.

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)