Speed of Light


“Light travels at a constant, finite speed of 186,000 mi/sec. A traveler, moving at the speed of light, would circumnavigate the equator approximately 7.5 times in one second. By comparison, a traveler in a jet aircraft, moving at a ground speed of 500 mph, would cross the continental U.S. once in 4 hours.” -NASA
“I want to move bright lights through the whole wide world,” six-year-old me wrote in her tiny, crown-shaped princess diary.

I never realized how fast light travels until I tried to surpass the speed of it with a heart that is quick to love and even quicker to be kind. When I was only six years old and I could barely understand why the sun was so bright, I realized that inspiring people would always be my mission.

Light has many varying definitions. A look of emotion in one’s eyes, understanding of an issue, a device that can ignite another item, or a person notable in a certain activity or place. Lastly, there’s the scientific definition, which states that light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.


One of my favorite toys as a kid was a kaleidoscope—a tube of mirrors and glass beads that reflect light in order to make changeable patterns. The different colors and shapes and the way they moved in perfect synchronicity fascinated me. As a little girl who was quite often bullied at school for being ugly and weird, I wanted to be as beautiful and captivating as my kaleidoscope. It took me a really long time to realize that I could be as beautiful and captivating as the toy if I radiated love. That is exactly what I have spent my life so far trying to do: sparking passion in myself and those around me. I have been giving out dashes of color wherever I go, illuminating the impact that I will continue to have, leaving a series of hopeful thoughts with those who need them.

When I was about 12 years old, I donated my kaleidoscope to Goodwill, along with a great deal of other toys that I had 'grown out of'. I miss the feeling of utter excitement and motivation that I experienced when I looked into the mystical toy, but I hope it inspired some other six-year-old kid to spread love through the world. Kaleidoscopes have become hard to find in stores, which makes me a little disappointed. It’s incredible how much of an influence one tiny object can have on a child.

The global women’s marches on January 21, 2016 proved that I am not the only human in this world who has made it their mission to try to reach an understanding between people of all kinds and to bring love and inspiration into difficult times. I am not the only person who wants to move bright lights through the whole wide world, and honestly, that is mind-boggling.

According to NASA, a traveler moving at the speed of light would circumnavigate the equator approximately 7.5 times in one second. As a six-year-old girl, I was spreading love further and faster in one second than visible light travels around the earth, moving bright lights to everywhere I could. Picture a future filled with kaleidoscope-loving children; imagine what our whole wide world might look like.


By Dharma Gilley

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