It’s the one dreaded question that has plagued human beings since the beginning of time: What the eff is the meaning of life?
Most people would answer with a shrug, a sarcastic response, or just “idk, pizza.” But Neil deGrasse Tyson is not most people.
The iconic astrophysicist and “Cosmos” host was speaking at an event in Boston last night when an adorable little boy named Jackson — who is six and three-quarters, thankyouverymuch — took the mic and asked the age-old question.
Without skipping a beat, deGrasse Tyson launched into a sweet, funny, and incredibly thought-provoking answer that we could all stand to hear.
“When I think of meaning in life, I ask, ‘Have I learned something today that I didn’t know yesterday?’ Bringing me a little closer to knowing all that can be known in the universe,” he said. “Just a little closer, however far away all the knowledge sits, I’m a little closer. If I live a day and I don’t know a little more that day than the day before, I think I wasted that day.”
The science icon goes on to address Jackson specifically, urging him to get his clothes dirty, bang on pots and pans, and taste snowflakes. “Your meaning in life will be enhanced if you are given as much freedom as you can to explore the world,” he told Jackson.
Watch the entire answer below—this is the kind of explanation that we all need to hear.