The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
-- John Dewey

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2015

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How good you have it

Do you realize how good you have it? The answer is no. You can never fully appreciate how fortunate you are to be who you are, where you are, with what you have and with all the possibilities that surround you. In order to realize the full extent of goodness in your life, you would have to do without every last bit of it, and that’s not something you would survive.

The goodness in your life extends all the way from the tiniest subatomic particles to massive stars and galaxies in the most distant reaches of the universe, and includes everything in between.

Think for a moment about the magnificence of the universe. Let those thoughts fill you with awe and wonder. And then know that in a thousand lifetimes you would never run out of new things to discover and enjoy about all that is. There simply are not words powerful enough to describe how breathtakingly massive and resplendent is this place where you find yourself.

What makes it even more amazing, is that scientists are increasingly coming to the conclusion that the universe should not even exist, statistically speaking. The odds against it involve a dizzying number of zeroes. Physicists have discovered that there are hundreds of factors that must be just right, some to an accuracy of 10 to the 140th power, in order for the universe to exist at all. That’s just the physical universe. The odds against life existing, and intelligent life at that, are far, far greater. And yet, here it is, and here you are to take it all in and to create a rich, meaningful experience out of it all.

Even if you were never to have another meal, or another conversation, or to see another sunrise, you already have racked up unspeakable good fortune, just by being born into this magnificent universe.

For most of human existence, people have struggled on a minute-by-minute basis for their very survival. After all, humans have been around for thousands of years and Walmart has been here only since 1962. The modern world you and I take for granted, with all its options and conveniences, has existed for only a tiny fraction of the time that people have been walking the Earth.

Can you imagine what it would be like to survive in the wilderness, without clothes, without shelter, without medical care, without Applebee’s or Taco Bell, not just for a day or a week, but for your entire life? What if that wilderness was filled with other people who had no inhibitions about killing you to take what little you had, and animals that would be happy to kill you for their next meal?


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--Ralph Marston