Started from the bottom

“Occhiolism,” a fascinating word from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.

I think most of us have felt afflicted by a sense of the awful smallness of our perspective. Occhiolism instantly reminded me of acedia as a cousin:

Acedia (also accidie or accedie, from Latin acedĭa, and this from Greek ἀκηδία, “negligence”) describes a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. It can lead to a state of being unable to perform one’s duties in life.

Christians know that the world was created from nothingness, that God created ex nihilo. I think the same thing holds in our own lives, which is that all that’s good and meaningful has to be created despite the base nothingness that we all feel sometimes.