In Bill Bryson’s wonderful book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” he shares that most of us are all here because our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother found our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather attractive enough to have sex with him. I realize that doesn’t sound very romantic but the reality is that’s the cold hard unromantic truth.
Imagine for a moment if that encounter had never happened. Think about it. What if your 4x Great Grandmother liked your 4x Great Grandfather’s brother more or they found out they couldn’t have children together, or your 4x Great Grandmother was just one ugly chick and your studly and stylish 4x Great Grandfather wouldn’t be caught dead with her even if she was the last girl standing in the village (no matter how many cows and chickens her Dad offered).
The first thing you should know is this; you wouldn’t be here, neither would your children, if you have children or your parents, or you grandparents and on and on. Kind of a weird thought isn’t it. That one moment of passion, or maybe simply a way to keep warm, gave each of us the chance of being here. Did we have any control over that event some 200 years ago? Nope, none, just pure luck. The reality is the odds, 200 years ago, of each of us being here are probably about the same as winning the lottery today. So many things could have gone wrong. Events, that seemingly at the time would seem insignificant, could have changed the course of our personal history.
I share this to remind myself and you to be grateful for what you have and who you are. No, everything is not perfect. We may not be pretty enough, skinny enough, rich enough, like our fathers, have our dream job, or living our dream life……..but we all have that chance. Spend some time thinking back on the lives that made your life possible. I can promise you their lives were not full of gumdrops and rainbows but the sacrifices they made brought each of us here. I am grateful to be here, I am grateful you are here as well.
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh