Has It Been Worth It?

Early on in school, I learned that each individual is the unique combination of one egg and one sperm. Thus, a different egg or a different sperm would result in a different person. That is pretty straightforward. What I found fascinating are the odds of that one sperm fertilizing that one egg. Depending on the overall health of the male, his ejaculate will contain between 40 million sperms to 600 million sperms! Typically, only about 200 sperms will actually reach the egg, but only one sperm can or will meet the challenge of successfully fertilizing that one egg. Nonetheless, that means that each of us are here because we won the lottery — we beat the odds which were 1 out of an average of 320 million at worst or at best, 1 out of 200 at least — depending on how you wish to calculate. The point I wish to emphasize is that the birth of a person is the product of random chance. Otherwise, you would have to believe that some superior, and presumably intelligent, force deliberately picked a specific sperm and egg so that you would be born.

I have often wondered, given that I have lived a few decades beyond the age of ten, has it all been worth it? The trifecta of joy, pain and the mundane — has it been worth it? Or would it have been better if a different sperm and/or different egg were fertilized so that someone other than the “I” that I am, were born? True, the lives of those I touched or were responsible for bringing into this life, would have been very different [if in existence at all], but was it worth it?

I think of the people that I have hurt or injured [as well as those who have hurt or injured me] and I ask, would it had made a difference if my mother had given birth to someone not made of the exact egg and exact sperm that generated me?

Statistically, and hence more than likely, my absence via the existence of someone else, would have made no significant difference. A little better or a little worse, but overall, no significant difference to humanity as a whole.

Which begs the question: What am I, Carlespie Mary Alice, worth? The answer to that question is related to the first one: Has it been worth it? I conclude, I am worth the same as almost every single person that ever existed, who does exist and who will exist. I am worth as much as the struggling farmer in a remote village in Africa or as much as the shopkeeper in India eking out a living.

That saddens me not because I wish I were worth more than my fellow humans but because that is what humanity is worth as a whole. We live, we struggle we die. This circle of life is little more than a noose — a noose tightened by the few in power.

There are more grains of sand on the beach than there are people walking on it. Almost all of us, are merely grains of sand. Or as someone stated, “Life is a beach and then you drown.”

Published in: on February 25, 2015 at 6:56 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Context

It has often been repeated, “Timing is everything.” That pearl of wisdom is correct more often than not. This near truism is evident in a number of ways:

The chance meeting of two people who were not ready for love but now are.

The birth of a child just before one of the parents is stricken with sterility-inducing disease.

Finding employment just before losing one’s home.


But if timing is everything, then so is context — perhaps more so. The Roman emperor [161 to 180],and stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, stated, “Poverty is the mother of crime.” This was true almost two thousand years ago and it is still true today — with reference to “street crime.” Ignoring the context of poverty, one can easily assert that an entire group of people are by nature, nocent and prone to rob, rape and kill. But taking into account the context of such activity, leads one to understand why the absence of poverty helps explain the absence of street crime especially in areas where there is affluence. It explains why most of those in prison do not come from wealthy or upper middle class families. Context does not necessarily excuse miscreant behavior; it helps explain it.

Content entails knowledge of most, if not all, the relevant facts and information. It precludes being narrow minded, bigoted and otherwise being fixated on staying in ones comfort zone so as to avoid the entire truth of a situation. It enables the deist to understand both the theist and the atheist. It allows the Democrat to understand the Republican — and vice versa. It can answer the “why” a partner is unfaithful or “how” could a friend betray another. But it does not always excuse, and it does not necessarily justify — it may simply explain. And sometimes, explanations [derived from context] can lead to resolution, a detente or even forgiveness.

Taking things out of context is another way to sacrifice the truth or to obfuscate it. Ignoring context is another way of settling for half truths or whole lies. Timing has to do with the outcome of events; content addresses the essence of the events.

Context is everything because everything has context and one cannot appreciate truth or near-truth without it no more than one can appreciate a word without its sentence and a sentence without its paragraph.

Published in: on February 25, 2015 at 6:41 PM  Comments (1)  
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