And The DNA Lottery Winner Is…

It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture as our days get consumed with minutiae that matter little in the greater scheme of things. So it’s good on occasion to remind ourselves of who we are, and what we represent – by virtue of simply being.

Each one of us, by standing today on this planet, has won the DNA lottery. We have each beaten overwhelming odds to have made it this far. We (and our preceding family members stretching back many thousands of years across the generations) has somehow avoided destruction. And the DNA that is at our core (our own individual genetic operating system, if you will) has survived, in spite of the overwhelming odds. Despite the innumerable occasions that could have wiped us out in a flash.

It’s good to remember that fact. You’re here because you’re a survivor. And it’s your turn to carry the load for those we’ll never meet in the future – but to whom we are today more responsible than ever.

As Richard Dawkins wrote in ‘Unweaving The Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder’:

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?