A few days ago, I was talking to a woman who also went to Penn State in the 1950s, but five years before me, so she was gone by the time I got there and our paths never crossed. We usually chat lightly about the Nittany Lions and Joe Paterno, but this time we were talking about her increasing health problems. She is serene about her fate even though she is an atheist, she told me. (A step down, albeit a small one some would say, from her former status as a Unitarian.)
I am always saddened a bit when someone tells me they are an atheist. It’s not that I care about their conception of the universe. It just seems unappreciative for the mystery of their existence, for the unimaginably small chance that they are here at all.
If another sperm out of the millions and millions penetrated the egg that produced you, someone else would be here instead. Multiply that by the number of all your ancestors and the slim chance of their pairing at just the right time, and no rational person would say you have any chance of existence at all.
Yet, here you are.
And, here am I. And you are reading my thoughts using technology developed in fits and starts over the long saga of human history. The chance of this happening is less than successively winning every mega-lottery ever run, or picking a thousand Power Ball numbers in sequence.
Every moment of life is an experience in defiance of incredible odds, and no matter how miserable or short our lives are, we should be celebrating our great good fortune of just being here. Life is a highly exclusive convention of super-winners and we are the honored guests.