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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to Work

It's the start of a new year and a new decade - a time for renewal, setting goals, generating creative energy and enjoying the world we live in.

I'm back at my computer - ready to share my observations of my little piece of this planet. I received the Amazon Kindle for Christmas from all my family. What a great gift. I can take the world of books with me wherever I go in a convenient, light-weight gadget. I already love it.

My son Mark suggested one of the first books I should buy - he actually bought it for me - was Bill Bryson's The Short History of Everything (http://www.randomhouse.com/features/billbryson/).

I mention this because Bryson introduces the book with a discussion on the miracle of life - describing all the atoms that had to come together to make you, you and me, me. Although he writes with a good measure of humor and whimsy, he presents a picture of accidental and amazing coincidences that lead us to the moment and place we are today. He states:

"To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once."

Consider all that is involved in us being who we are. If we totally ignore the beginning - when there was just a void - we still have to stand in awe of the consequences of life that led so many generations to successfully reproduce from the beginning of time through to our parents. If even one little chromosome had been different, we would not be the person we are.

Most of us have wondered at some time what would have happened if our parents had not met or had met someone else. Multiple that by thousands of generations - it's an awesome concept to ponder.
This is not an essay on religion versus science. Although I certainly look at it from the view that God created our world, I think it's just as amazing if you look at it strictly from a scientific viewpoint.

Given that I am here writing this today and I am the result of this amazing coming together of atoms, I have much to be thankful for. For me to be here at all, everything up to this moment has happened for a purpose.

How's that for motivation? That we are the result of trillions and trillions of atom "changes" throughout time is a fact that boggles the mind. Bryson puts it into perspective:

"Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimly wounded or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly - in you."

If all that happened for a purpose, then it is our job - each of us - to make our lives count. It means that each of us have gifts and resources within us that present the opportunity to make our special mark on the world.

An awesome responsibility and an exciting challenge! I hope that all of us - you and me included - use the energy and life within us to make the world a better place, to motivate others and to share kindness.

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