If you search on the web for “The Mountain,” you will find, modestly perched atop advertisements for radio stations, youth camps, and ski resorts, a humbling three minute and eight second video that will make you rethink the way you live your life.

TSO Photography’s masterpiece is an illuminating time-lapse video set on the peak of El Tiede, Spain’s highest mountain. It is a breathtakingly beautiful location for viewing the stars and galaxies that sparkle in the night sky, invisible to our urban eyes. Without the distraction of nearby insomniac cities and college campuses, everything slows to a crawl. The gentle touch of the mountain breeze and the fresh air engulf your finer senses, while your eyes are left free to roam the heavens.

If there is a supernatural heaven, it has much work to do to top the natural beauty of “The Mountain.”

When you watch the video, give it the full attention it deserves – in full screen and HD, with the volume up. In the minutes following the conclusion of “The Mountain,” you will not be able to worry about your homework, or that upcoming test, or, more realistically, getting into a good party this weekend.

The video will violently drag you back to reality: you live on a wet rock tumbling through space. You are one person out of seven billion on one planet out of eight in one star system of one hundred billion stars in one galaxy of one hundred billion galaxies.

That being said, you are the only “you,” so you better make use of your short time alive. But how? Everyone lives at the center of their own universe.

About a minute in to “The Mountain”, you start to realize that the stars aren’t moving across the sky, but quite the opposite; you are the one moving. A scene like that will not so subtly let you know that you are not the center of the universe.

Statistically, you barely exist at all.

So stop looking down when you’re walking from class to class to see if you’ll stub your toe. Look up and see who is around you. Smile, wave, or – God forbid – say “hi.” What’s the worst that can happen, you stub your toe? Big deal, you’ve got nine more.

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