I saw this amazing rainbow (firebow) a couple of nights ago, took this photo, put it out on social media, and it has around 3000 likes so far. Partly because I shared it in two groups with a large number of members. (The amount of likes is more than for anything else I have put out there.)
I see that I could take this as a feather in my cap. I could make it about me. All these likes mean I am a great guy, or it means I am lovable, or good enough, or accepted, or something like that.
For me, none of that rings very true. What’s more true is that this is about nature. Nature created that scene. I just happened, through grace and coincidence, to be there and had a camera to capture it. I was given the role of a messenger, someone who was able to give others a small taste of what nature created here at that moment.
I could also think that this is about my skills and sense of aesthetics. I am a good photographer. I have built up some skills. And so on. Although there may be some truth to it (not so much in this photo since it’s so simple), something else is more true.
All of that also comes from beyond me as this human being. I was born. I was born into a family that values art, aesthetics, and nature. They passed it on to me. Evolution made us humans so we can see and enjoy beauty. It gave us these bodies with eyes and a brain. My parents bought this cabin many years ago, making it possible for me to be here now. I live in a peaceful society making it possible for me to be here. Someone built this cabin. They learned it from someone else, who in turn learned it from someone else. Someone grew the food that’s kept me alive for long enough to see that rainbow and take the picture. Someone made the phone making it possible to take the photo. Innumerable generations of very smart and diligent people worked out the technology that eventually became that phone. And the same for the technology that makes internet and social media possible. The evolution of Earth was required for this photo to be taken. The whole universe, and the evolution of the universe, had to be just as it is and has been for me to take that photo and others to see it on their phones and computers.
This photo was taken by me, but it’s not about me. It’s about the whole world and all of the universe, going back to the beginning of time.
When I am grounded in reality, it’s clear that this is about what’s beyond any one of us. It’s about existence as a whole.
Ultimately, this photo wasn’t taken by me. The scene was created by life and existence. It was taken by life and existence. It’s enjoyed by life and existence. And all of it is made possible by life and existence.
Note: The photo ended up with around 10,000 likes.