What is your favorite word and why?

My favorite word is constellations. The word itself is simple: the prefix “con” means together and the root “stella” means stars, but they together, to me, say everything: the stars are together. Stars are all individual points of light, floating around in space millions of miles away from one another. Likewise, we humans may all seem isolated in our thoughts and struggles. However, man’s desire to connect these dots into constellations is the purpose of life, since the only way any one item or person holds meaning is in its relationship to something else. My life means nothing if I stay a solitary star, unwilling to connect with the stars around me. No matter how bright I am individually, no Big Dipper will emerge. No great contribution will be made if I do not collaborate and interact with others and challenge myself to understand how others feel, think, and contribute. I can only leave a legacy if I pass it on to someone. Galileo said, “I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." Indeed, many of us are fearful of the great dark expanse that is night because it is so ominous and empty: we feel so small in comparison to the darkness. And yet, this concept of emptiness need not scare us; instead, we must find...

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