Today is birthday #38. According to the actuarial tables, this marks the halfway point of the life of an average American male. Of course, “average” is a statistical abstraction and is not necessarily applicable to any individual life. There could be one year left in my future, or sixty. Still, while the actual number is an unknown quantity, this symbolic halfway point gives me pause. Here is one life by the numbers.
3.5 to 3.9 billion: Age, in years, of my earthling lineage.
2: Beautiful sons.
1: Nephew, niece.
17, 19, & 25: Ages I met, started dating, and married my wife.
1: Number of people who will ever be ‘me.’
0: Number of people who will ever think/feel exactly the same as me at the same moment.
2: Average cups of coffee per day.
29: Age I received my Ph.D.
~1,600: Number of students taught (so many irreparably harmed minds).
0: Number of times I’ve ever been drunk. Weird, huh?
Lots: Mistakes I’ve made; Number of things I would change about myself.
More: Things I like about myself.
0: Number of days I’ve felt satisfied with how much I know.
0: Amount of respect I have for prioritizing power and greed over kindness.
0: Number of people I hate unconditionally.
Many: Number of people I disagree with emphatically.
0: Number of religions I think are ‘true.’
All: Number of religions that contain pieces of wisdom.
Very: Importance of empathy, sense of humor.
Often: Frequency I am disappointed in Homo sapiens (myself included).
Large: Amount of confidence I have in humanity.
Immense: The beauty of life.
∞: The fact that I, and all of you, will have ever existed.
Unknown: Miles to go before I sleep.
Favorite version of the Golden Rule: “What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah; the rest is just commentary. Now go and learn.” – Talmud
Second favorite version: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama
And as long as I’m being completely self-absorbed… this site offers a way to visualize your LinkedIn connections, by placing them into clusters. I did this just for fun and found that it was pretty much what I expected, with my connections falling roughly into 6 or 7 main categories. Maybe this makes me scattered, or perhaps just varied in interests.