There are so many reasons to be frantic, to run from one thing to another to be pumped high with anxiety and dread. And yet – as we know in our hearts – it is even more of a priority to keep an occasional appointment with someone we neglect in our normal frenzy. A deeper, quieter part of ourselves. We have intimations of it at night, on the motorway. Or in the grey stillness of the early morning. It seems everything we do matters so much but, to stay sane, we need to hear a different, more humbling message: That everything we do and are is in truth meaningless – when considered from a sufficient distance. From the perspective of the timeless stones the relentless, pounding seas – the infinite heavens From here, you can see Venus and Jupiter in the darkening sky. When dusk deepens you can see distant stars – Aldebaran, Andromeda, Aries and the suggestion of a billion others beyond the weakness of your field of vision. To counter our tendencies to exaggerate and panic, we need to meditate on our utter insignificance when measured against aeons of time and space. Even on our own planet, there is so much that is strange, wondrous, ‘other’ and completely indifferent to us. This is the village of Roka Kandal, near Kratie in Cambodia. Roughly 500 families live here. About 800 kids go to the local school. The boys play May Khamin – they put a bottle in a box in the sand, and shoot elastic bands at it If you hit the bottle, you’re the boss. Most of the villagers are farmers. To relax, they play boules, or go to the local cinema. They don’t know anything about you; your sorrows, the gossip about you, the dilemmas of your career… and you, till now, knew nothing about them. We exist too much in the minds of others. We are perpetual over-dramatizers of who we are and what we do. We should learn to develop a readier awareness of our beautifully miniscule place in the wider scheme of things to free ourselves from our constant debilitating anxieties to bring a little perspective back to our needlessly tense and preciously brief lives.