It’s all so completely arbitrary – who, how, where, and what I am.
When I start to think of all the things– the chance, the luck, the chaos, the opportunities, and missed connections – that have brought me to here and now… well by all accounts, I shouldn’t be here.
Not to say that I am a complete puppet in all of this. I have done. Acted. Created. Impacted. I have made certain things happen based on where I find myself, taking ownership and interacting in my own unique way.
Yet, in the grand scheme of things – in the sheer mind-boggling magnitude of the series of systems and events that culminated in life as I know it?* I’ve had a pretty miniscule amount of control, let’s be honest.
• • •
“I want to do everything remembering that I am entitled to nothing.”
I’ve found acknowledging my lack of control to be really powerful. (When it’s not overwhelming… practice makes that a bit better, each time.) I feel like living in graceful humility, without losing my agency, will be my life’s work.
Understanding context and being grateful-out-loud helps. Because honestly, everything is a privilege; a fascinating happenstance. I’m sometimes dumbfounded just thinking about it.** I shouldn’t be here…
But I am. And so, I’m determined to work and play and breathe and be in a way that merits the incredible mix of randomness that’s formed this life I’m living.
* Nationality. History. Policy. Economy. Freedom. Citizenship. Rights. Gender. Home. Family. Influencers. (…)
** And I’m only thinking back in a very limited scope – just one generation, and parents’ immediately personal histories.
• Q & A with Malcolm Gladwell about Outliers
• Bah, Humblebrag – New York Times