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  • ★★★★★-5

Review: The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Maybe in the end art and life are more like the world's largest ball of paint. You carefully choose your colors, and then you add your layer as best you can. In time, it gets painted over. The ball gets painted again and again until there is no visible remnant of your paint. And eventually, maybe nobody knows about it except for you.

But that doesn't mean your layer of paint is irrelevant or a failure. You have permanently, if slightly, changed the larger sphere. You've made it more beautiful, and more interesting. The world's largest ball of paint looks nothing like the baseball it used to be, and you're part of the reason.

Imagine it's 1,000 years in the future and you stumble across an ancient book called The Anthropocene Reviewed. You open it up and fall right into its pages. You read about a man lost to history (by that point, every man from our time will be). You read about his swatch on this giant ball of paint we call life. And it makes you want to cry.

I think we all feel like we just want to know what to do with our layer in the giant ball of paint. Sometimes it keeps us up at night. Sometimes, for an aching moment, we get overcome by needing to know RIGHT NOW what EXACTLY we WILL DO with that patch of paint. The best times are those fleeting moments when the patch of paint leaves your mind. When everything you're seeing is enough.

I want to learn what to do with my tiny expanse of the world's largest ball of paint.

In my copy of The Anthropocene Reviewed I underlined this passage and wrote "John Green wants to know too." Because he does. And he said it right there.

So stop worrying about picking a color, stop worrying about how thick the layer will be. Because even John Green is worried about whether his tiny expanse will be big enough. And in 1,000 years it will be because no one's will be. There will be millions of people who will see that layer in the world's largest ball, but there will also be billions who don't. There will also be a time when the world's largest ball is no longer a ball and the universe no longer exists.

But, and this fact will never change, there will always be a point when it did.


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