― Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
Life is a series of moments. Moments that will define you in later life. Moments that arise from a combination of chance, luck, choice and arguably fate. The moments that can and do occur vary greatly due to various factors; age, location, background and personal conviction. Your decisions made in the present weigh down on your conscience of the future.
Your presence on this planet is astoundingly unique.
You exist as a result of thousands of years of ancestral breeding. Directly, you are here because of the matrimony between your parents, the process whereby you gained your uniqueness was due to genetic randomisation through pregnancy. You could have been born as your sibling and vice versa, but you weren’t, why? You were born as “you” because of chance, luck and an element of fate.
One tiny change in your ancestry could have resulted in your unique existence from never having been. For instance, you’re father and mother never having met, or both sets of grandparents never having met their future spouses, or their parents never meeting, so on and so forth. It could have been one tiny moment of changing a choice that would have never resulted in your existence. If you’re great (4x) grandmother caught tuberculosis and died before procreating or if your great (30x) grandfather mistakenly ate the wrong wild berries and died from dysentery before procreating then the stream of existence that occurred would never have been.
Somewhere down the line, from years to come, you could be the ancestor of an influential world figure; a future Einstein or a future Shakespeare, the possibilities are endless because the homosapien cycle of life is endless. You live on through your children. Your partner’s and your genetic makeup adds to the continous stream of human existence.
You are “You” directly as a result of experiencing life and growing up. Your ideology, mentality, beliefs, pattern of thinking has been derived from your daily interactions over the course of your life. These interactions range from engaging with friends, family, teachers, books, tv, etc. They shape you and how you live. A negative life experience may change your way of life and therefore your future moments are limited to whatever complements your way of living. For instance, if you suffer from a fear of flying then travelling abroad would be unlikely and therefore all those possible moments you could experience are ruled out.
The life you lead in your environment limits you to who you can meet. School facilitates you in befriending other people your age within a localised radius. The school friends you make depended on when you were born and where you lived so the friends you have depended on a variety of factors ie your personal preference, ethnic background, your mindset, your boundaries of influence, etc. I would often wonder how lucky my friends were to have me and vice versa because it could have been so different. I could have been born a few months later and not in their school year, not relocated to within the radius, not have been in their form, not have had the opportunities to exert persuasive influence.
The growth in technology breaks free from the laws of nature. You can now be exposed to people across the globe and learn and experience things that were once unimaginable and impossible.
The person you meet and fall in love with is not an exception. Many couples who meet each other away from a formal institution, such as the work place or university, may often talk about their love being destiny. That meeting each other was a way of fate. It may well be. The chances of love occurring between two people is so unlikely, the chances are virtually zero when you consider the external factors that could have prevented it. Factors such as those that influenced your decision to be at that specific time and place, if one of you met someone else a day before, if you weren’t living in the same city, etc.
Then it becomes a case of “what if…”
But it’s a hypothetical question that can never be answered because it’s challenging the events of reality. The real events of the present, in the moments of happiness with your loved one you may ask yourself “what if we never met? What would my days be like if I didn’t have this person with me?”
It’s part of human curiosity to think how ones life could be different, so relax and step back. Cherish the present. Cherish whom you love, who loves you, who makes you live, laugh and be happy. Because in reality you’re lucky to have that person in your life, you just don’t know it because the mathematics of probability is overlooked when it comes to reality.
Maybe it was fate that delivered this person to you or maybe not, but don’t be a fool and pass up this offering because living life with a regret of “what if” will sting you sorely.