Have you ever really taken a second to consider the improbability that you specifically would be brought into this world? A few friends and I were talking about this just yesterday. There are so many things that could have happened in literally the entire course of human history that would have caused a detour that may have skirted my entry into the human race.
Think about something as simple as maybe your parents not meeting. Maybe your parents are like mine and met during college. What if one of them chose a different college? Either one of them could have easily chosen somewhere else.
Or, you might be a child that was not exactly planned. Or you might be a child who was adopted from a foreign country. Or maybe your parents or grandparents happened to serve in the military and were one of the survivors from D-Day. I don’t know your story and your background, but my point is that there were tons of things that brought us to the point we are today where you are reading this. Some of them were improbable or even surprising.
Even beyond that, why did you happen to read what I write? Maybe you know me. Maybe out of the billions of people in the world, I had the pleasure of meeting you, and you know that I write, so you decided to read what I have written. Maybe you simply found this post through a Google search. You weren’t planning on reading anything I had ever written because you didn’t know I existed until this moment. But now, you and I have some common ground. Albeit, we don’t have much. You have read about 250 words that I have written, and that is about the foundation of our relationship, but you know something about me, and I at least know that you are a statistic that shows that one person has visited this particular page on my website.
You have to admit, it is really a remarkable thing that we are exactly where we are in history at particular times. There is so much that could have happened in different ways, but it didn’t. It happened one particular way, and we now find ourselves exactly where we are right now.
Without getting incredibly philosophical here, I’m curious how this fact makes you feel. For me, it makes me feel fortunate for one thing. Of course, I don’t think I would know anything if I was never born. It is not like I would be some kind of disembodied soul floating around waiting for a body that never happened if history didn’t play out exactly the way it did. However, I feel like being, and all of the great things that I have enjoyed about being a member of the human race, is certainly better than not being. After all, I would suppose that a net positive overall considering my experiences is probably better than the apparent neutrality of nonexistence.
I am always sad when I hear people talk about how bad their lives are and how they wish they had never been born. The simple fact that you were born is frankly a miracle. I am not just talking about birth and of itself of a generic child. Rather, you specifically, out of all the potential children who could’ve been born even just by your parents, but multiplied by millions and billions of people throughout the course of history means that you are in pretty remarkable company. You are one of the privileged few that has had the ability to even take a breath.
If you really are in that type of special company, I feel like you and I have some obligations. Why should we not make the most out of the time we have? Why should we not necessarily embrace life for all it’s worth with this type of understanding?
I feel like a lot of us avoid this obligation. A lot of us don’t necessarily feel like we are anything special simply for being here, but even if you deny the existence of some higher purpose that brought you here at this specific moment (something I do happen to believe in), the fact that you are here means that you owe something to your fellow members of humanity.
Even if you are simply the product of random chance, you were the lucky product of that lottery, and you ought to do what you can to make a difference given the lucky break that you have been given. Of course, I think it is quite evident that this world is driven by a lot more than just plain chance and luck, and I think there is actually a purpose for you and I both being here at this moment.
Regardless of which perspective you take, I hope that at least may be reflecting on this really remarkable yet surprisingly ordinary miracle causes you to want to do something. I don’t know what it is as I think it will be different for each one of us depending on our individual gifts and talents. However, don’t you actually want to do something with quite frankly the gift of life that you have been given? There are so many ways that you might not have been given that opportunity, so the fact that you have it is something that should not be taken lightly.
Let me ask you this though. When you think about this idea of making a difference, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is why you want to make a difference. Do you want to make the world a better place? That’s good. How do you define better? How do you decide what would be better or what would be worse? These are the key questions that you need to ask.
If you are not in a position to answer those questions right now or have to think a little bit harder about them, all I can ask you that you do not take your existence for granted. Man, we all know so many people who do. There’s a lot of waste. Let’s at least try not to be part of that problem. Let’s do what we can to help not only make the world a better place but also live for whatever purpose we are specifically put here for.