Actions of Dust

I was recently hosting an event at the college where work. It was a lecture for senior students, the theme of which was “A Meaningful Life”. Though not out of place at a liberal arts school, I work at a STEM school, and we’re often luck to get these future engineers to attend anything quite so existential.

But our attendance was decent, and I was excited myself to hear the speaker. Though small, our school does host a Humanities and Social Sciences department among the numerous engineering degree tracks. I asked one of the professors to present on the topic, giving him no more details than the title and encouraging him to make what he wanted out of it. He did not disappoint.

The synopsis of his lecture was that there are 5 things to know and understand in order to give meaning to our lives. I was in and out of the room during some of his presentation, but one thing that he said made me stop and take note of it so I wouldn’t forget.

Whether we are a circuit of biochemicals, or fearfully and wonderfully made, we are all actions of dust.

It’s such a beautiful thought to me – and a true statement. No matter our beliefs, our creeds, our faith, or our understanding of the world – we begin and end in relatively the same way. Our circumstance and situations – whether divine intervention or random assignment – dictate reactions from us. Our actions then define us, and continue doing so until we ultimately reach our inevitable end. And from death, life continues.