Realistically

About six weeks into this whole thing, I started to come to grips with reality.

Read that again. I didn’t come to grips with Life or with My Life or with God or My Situation or My Heart Condition or How This Would Affect the Raising of My Children and the Publishing of My Book. I came to grips with reality.

Most of the time, when people say they’re a “realist”, what they mean is that they’re cynical. What they mean is a version of “You can’t be mad at me for being a dick because I’m just stating the facts.” What those people don’t understand – and the more I talk to people the more I’m convinced that this affects pretty much everyone everywhere – is that what you perceive as “reality” is just your worldview. It’s a summation of all of your experiences, thoughts, and emotions wrapped up together in order to deal with how reality touches your life. A worldview is not reality. Reality is based on the Law of Large Numbers.

I don’t lock my car doors. Why? Because based on the Law of Large Numbers, the likelihood of someone breaking into it is quite small; most people are not crooks and the ratio of people who pass my car on a daily basis that aren’t crooks vs. the people pass my car on a daily basis that are crooks is even smaller. Your typical “realist” will say “It only takes once.” I say it’s not worth even thinking about (let alone fretting over).

Realistically, I enjoy not being fanatical about anything. Just about everyone is really into something; by not being into anything, by The Law of Large Numbers, this makes me special. It helps me think that I’m better than other people whose lives revolve around certain unattainable goals or insignificant subjects. You could call that a dickish behavior; I’d agree with you (I’m working on changing that).

This heart condition will kill me. By The Law of Large Numbers I will die because of a complication created by my heart condition. It might be surgery. It might be an aneurism. It might be blood volume being slightly affected by a lifetime of death-delaying drugs. But, statistically, I will die much sooner than you will.

By The Law of Large Numbers, if the average age of a white male is 78, then about half of the population will die before that. I guess I’m in that group now.  By The Law of Large Numbers, if someone dies at 110, then someone else has to die at 46 (hopefully, that’s not me).

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