"That's quite a collection of stiffs you have down there." - Dead Alive
Stephen Hawking is known to have said that the humans are simply a scum of chemicals on the surface of typical planet that is in orbit around a typical star in the outskirts of a typical galaxy. He’s absolutely right - we are simply a tiny speck in a vast cosmic ocean that is made up of pretty much the same things that we are.
Now some people are let down by these facts. Yes, it proves that we aren’t in the center of the universe and not set here for some sort of a grand purpose. But we don’t need all of that to be a truly exceptional species. All you have to do is to shift you cosmic perspective just a tiny bit and I assure you, suddenly; the mere idea of your existence would be utterly astounding.
We are made up of the exact same things as the rest of the universe and thats exactly what makes us so special; we are intelligent beings composed of the same elements and compounds that make up galaxies millions of light years across. We are made up of the beautiful glistening stars that fill up our night sky. We are made up of the beautiful nebulae that are captured by Hubble’s magnificent lens. We are stardust and that means that we are connected to the Universe at a level never imagined before and hence far more exceptional that we would have ever imagined.
The scale of the Universe, as overwhelming as it is, shouldn’t make you feel insignificant but rather precious. Knowing that intelligent conscious species like us are rare in the universe should add some value to us rather than take it away. Most importantly, knowing that such a species managed to do so many extraordinary things simply from an ordinary planet in an ordinary galaxy makes everything even more worthwhile.