Look At How We Got Here

(all probabilities are part of a narrative, not meant to be mathematically accurate)

We are all the product of an unfathomable number of coincidences. Every single action you have ever taken, every shifting of the tides, every second of our existence has brought us to this point.

To be typing these words, I can’t even describe how lucky I am to be here. Out of millions of spermatozoa, I was the one who fertilized my mother’s egg. I was born free of complication. I was raised in such a way as to preserve my physical well-being. Every car accident and bike crash and step out onto a crosswalk could have been fatal. I have had hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of chances to be diverted from my course of life, and yet I am here. If I had forgotten the answer to a question on a test, I may not have been able to go to college. If I had been stopped by an officer on one of those nights of underage drinking, I may have been kicked out. I might not have gotten my current job, may never have met all the people I have, but I did, and here I am, the result of billions, trillions, of circumstances, any one of which could have resulted in a complete and jarring shift in my personality, location and being. I am me, and for brevity’s sake, that is a miracle.

But that’s just me. Think of all the other people who faced those exact same monumental circumstances. Those in poverty, those in suburbia, those in the lap of luxury. All of them began as less than a .001% chance of existence. Multiplied by the 50% chance of any scenario taking a turn for the worse, and you have as infinitesimally small a chance of existing as I do. But then, we meet. And two people with existence probabilities of .00000000000000000000001% collide. Despite it being impossible, we know each other.

These coincidences go back as far as time has existed. When the moon was separated from the earth as a massive Mars-sized planet collided with it, a large chunk of light debris floated off into orbit. So many things had to happen to make this a reality. The timing of the collision, the angle of the impact, the trajectory of the moon’s departure from earth proper, the gravitational pull resulting from the mass of the earth… hell, even the existence of gravity. All of these things, combined, resulted in the perfect system for controlling our tides and partially generating pretty much all life on this planet. Without it, we don’t exist.

I am in complete awe of our existence. Everything we have created, everything we are, by all reasonable measure, should not exist. We are not the dominant life form on this planet; that’s a ridiculous notion. Just because we create things bigger or stronger than anything else doesn’t make us dominant. Simply put, we are lucky. But no luckier than any other species. In fact, less than some.

It is for this reason that I call your attention: life is short, and sometimes depressing and sometimes joyous, but above all, life is a gift. Because, by all accounts, we shouldn’t be here. So make the most of your life. By fate’s hand, we all exist and are able to do great things for ourselves and each other. Every action you take has a purpose, and that action may be statistically insignificant, but math can’t take away purpose. Despite your inhibitions and misgivings, you can’t stop, because we make the impossible happen every day. Go to work, go to school, go to the gym, go out for a run, go party. Watch all those impossible interactions and unfathomable coincidences unfold before your very eyes.

It’s all worth it.