Happy New Year

At the start of every trip around the sun, I like to spend some time getting my bearings. This quote from Unweaving the Rainbow sure did it for me this year:

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”

May all of the ordinary ones have an extraordinary year. Happy New Year!

P.S. In an interview last year, Richard Dawkins mentioned that he has set aside this passage and asked for it to be read at his funeral.

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