You can find it advantageous to feel small. Richard Fisher, a senior news correspondent, examines the benefits of embracing vastness.

About a week after his dad’s death, he was standing at the foot of Yr Wyddfa, also known as Snowdon, in north Wales. That day, as he realized his mortality, he was overwhelmed with emotion. However, at that very moment, allowing his mind to travel upward into the sky and seeing how small he was was cathartic—almost satisfying. We may feel a variety of emotions, such as awe, astonishment, and humility, when we encounter something vastly larger than ourselves. It’s easy to forget that there’s still a vast and mysterious universe out there that hasn’t been explored. Maybe this is because so much of life now is done on a smartphone screen that is a bit bigger than our hands.

Frank Keil, a psychologist, asserts that when faced with the unknown, wonder inspires creativity and inquiry. It raises questions about ourselves such as “how, what, where, when, and what if.” It is impossible to take that from us as humans; it is one of our most powerful motivations. With these perspectives and the combined knowledge and creative energy of humanity, we may approach the terrifying unknowns of our time with reverence and care.