Because the universe is beautiful enough without having to lie about it

Good things

September 25th, 2008 Posted in General

Why do good things always keep happening to me?

It’s odd you never hear anyone ever say that, though you often notice people complaining about how bad things apparently happen to them all the time.  Now, given that there is no such thing as fate, and that life events are largely random, then there’s three possibilities. Either (1) You’re bringing bad things on yourself at a rate greater than chance would predict, because you’re making dumb decisions (2) you’re examining a period of time that is far too short to get a good estimate of how often bad things happpen or (3) you’re wrong.  It’s almost always the third option.

The truth is that bad things happen to everyone, and good things happen to everyone.  Of course, if you choose to become a drug addict and a petty criminal then you’ll have a lot of bad things happen to you, but for the majority of folk, you have masses of good things happen all the time.  Often the problem with good things is that you don’t even realise that they happen.  After all, you remember the times when you got flu, but you never know about the times when your immune system valiantly fought it off; you remember the times when you got your phone stolen, but you never know about the times when the police arrest a petty criminal just minutes before he would have crossed your path and stolen from you; you remember the pain of the operation, but you forget the dozens of healthcare professionals who all teamed together to help you recover; you complain about the standard of healthcare but rarely spend the time to consider the fact that we live in societies for which Science has provided a bewildreing array of medical technologies far exceeding anything that has ever existed before in the history of humanity.

More about that last point tomorrow, I think.

In addition to all of that, we could easily remember every time that our body performs with perfection one of the many different activities that it has evolved to execute without any conscious effort. We could remember the sunset, the beautiful scenery and the sunny weather from which, thanks to our evolution, our brains are tuned to gain a great deal of pleasure.

And finally, as Richard Dawkins said, we are the lucky ones because we get a chance to be alive.  Of the ungraspably enormous possible permutations of the human genome, you ended up with yours; nobody alive today (unless you’ve got identical siblings) has the exact same code, nobody ever has and nobody ever will. You have inherited a precious legacy of survival genes from an unbroken lineage of successful ancestors stretching back billions of years. An unimaginably large number of potential other versions of you never got the chance to sit here today and read this suspiciously optimistic blog post.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a positive blog post because my fiancé just got a new job and I’m really proud of her. So, for once, I’m going to post about something that makes me happy.  I think I should resolve to do that a bit more because otherwise I could spend my entire life fighting what’s wrong without realising that somany other things are actually just right.

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