We don’t really know for sure because we have nothing else to compare our own existence to, but it seems evident that if you wish to end up as a moderately advanced, thinking society, you need to be at the right end of a very long chain of outcomes involving reasonable periods of stability interspersed with just the right amount of stress and challenge (ice ages appear to be especially helpful in this regard) and marked by a total absence of real cataclysm.

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

As I read this passage, I thought how transferable this idea of the evolution that led to the existence of humanity et al is to a healthy individual adult existence. How we require just the right balance of challenge, stress, and stability. How when I look back at my formative years, I am somewhat amazed by the journey that my life has undergone to arrive at the point of now, knowing that one slight step off the path during one of those crazy tangential ice age depressions of loneliness may have resulted in a person substantially less blessed.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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