At Once I Knew, I Was Not Magnificent
Rachel and I talked about doing a trip like this for as long as we’ve known each other. Then we got really serious about it back in September, to the point that the only thing holding us back was this nagging feeling that it was “irresponsible” or “not what we should do” coupled with a fear that we would be insulting our employers, for whom we have a ton of respect.
There was one specific song - and its music video - that nudged me over the edge. I invite you to take five minutes to watch it, full screen if possible. It will inject beauty into your day.
Shortly after watching this video, I sent this email to Rachel:
I read the other day that if the history of the universe were compressed into a single year, the advent of humans would occur at 11:59pm on Dec 31st.
I didn’t tell you about the moment on Monday when I felt a lot of peace about this decision.
I was listening to Holocene, and googled the lyrics. Someone wrote about how the line “At once I knew I was not magnificent” is a revelation of humility in comparison to grandeur of the universe. The video beautifully portrays this.
If we are “not magnificent”, then these decisions that seem monumental to us are, in the scope of eternity, insignificant.
It is egotism to believe that this decision will have a significant impact anyone but us. The business Dr. Khanna has spent over a decade building will continue on without you. So will the lives of the people at Table XI. We are useful and appreciated, but not essential to the happiness or success of those around us.
P.S. - Our fears were entirely unwarranted. Josh, the owner of Table XI, and Dr. Khanna, the owner of Advanced Occupational Medicine Specialists, have been two of our biggest cheerleaders on this trip.