Poop written in a stream with stones.There's something wonderful about things that have no purpose. There's something even more wonderful about the capacity to see value in things that have no intrinsic purpose on this Earth. When contemplated sufficiently, stupid (funny) things unfold into an array of differing thoughts leading to very important questions.

If you are a squirrel trying to get through your day, you are often thinking, "I have to find more nuts!" and occasionally, "Should I run across the road? Yes! No!" In the midst of a squirrel's hectic, indecisive life it will never occur to the squirrel that it could arrange the nuts in an interesting pattern. A human can, however, and the moment homo sapiens started doing so, is the moment we actually became human (in my opinion).

Cave paintings. The very fact that you can do things in this world that have absolutely no connection to critical life-sustaining goals such as nourishment and procreation is one of the most essential capacities of being human. You can look up at the sky and appreciate the fact that starlight landing on your retina was emitted from that star thousands of years before you were born and will continue to create light for countless ages after you die. The squirrel cannot do that.

Parady photo of Michaelangelo's The Creation of Adam.There is a special dignity that comes with this sort of thinking. Evolution has brought us to the point where we can contemplate the thousands of lives that led up to ours. You literally sit on top of the toil, suffering, failures and successes of ten thousand generations. And now it is your turn. Your incredibly, staggeringly unlikely life is both a priviledge and responsibility. As a human being who lives in the most chaotic, the most individually empowered, the most dangerous, the most hopeful and the most critical moment of all human history, you have the responsibility to all other living creatures, as well as those that come before you and after you, to ask really big questions, to think about the unknowable and to be more than a consuming, procreating organism.A photo of an astronaut on the moon.

But, this sort of thinking comes at a cost. The more you think like this, the more the daily things we are supposed to take care of in this life become even more prosaic and mundane. You will no longer be excited about things like buying couches, reading your Facebook feed, or writing HTML. You will start to think big and develop irresponsible urges to create things and save the world. I hope you embrace it.Orsen Wells clapping.