Reasons to be cheerful…..1,2,3

I hope everyone had a spiffing holiday season!

I wanted to say another quick thank you to everyone for their support since I joined WordPress last year. You know who you are – I hope. And I also wanted to particularly say thank you to Kim at By Hook or By Book just for being so great! (and always so nice to me)

So anyway, NEW YEAR 2015. Exciting times. Any resolutions? I have the usual ones in mind – eat less, move more, smoke less etc etc. But I think one of the biggest things for me, especially having been off work for the best part of two weeks, is…………..trying to remain cheerful.

Unfortunately and despite my best efforts to change, I can be more of a glass half empty type of person. And this time of year, wow………there’s only a drip left and it’s not even nice water, it’s cloudy and suspicious looking.

So I was determined this year to be cheerful, upbeat and not let early mornings, what I like to call ‘the drudgery of life’ (or as my boss calls it – my day job as an Auditor) get me down too much.

And so I started to think about something I often think about when I’m feeling miserable – the “you only live once so you may as well enjoy yourself” mantra. And it got me thinking about the Richard Dawkins documentary The God Delusion which I watched a few years ago. He referenced this Douglas Adams quote and I’ve never really forgotten the sentiment of it:

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

Cottingley_Fairies_1

Adams is of course talking about the belief in religion and the fact that it’s sad that us humans have to make up stories about God or Mohammad or Krishna, in order to enjoy and understand the beauty of the world. In Adams’ opinion we should just be thankful we’re alive and enjoy the world for what it is, not ‘make up’ idealistic views about an afterlife and an omnipotent force.

Now whether you believe in a higher power or not isn’t really the point here and I’m no way looking to upset any religious folk, but this quote led Richard Dawkins to a very interesting point and it’s one that’s stayed with me and one which I’m keen to share. It starts with one simple question –

Have you ever thought about the odds of you being born? 

Because they are astronomically, ridiculously and sickeningly tiny. And really, we should just all be bloody grateful we’re here rather than murdering one another and moaning about money.

One in forty trillion to be precise. ONE IN FORTY TRILLION. I don’t know any gamblers who would take a punt on that.

The fact of the matter is we’re all so lucky to be here. And despite life being hard sometimes; with illness, financial woes, disability, violence and unkindness, we should all try to remember that we were given the ultimate prize available – the prize of living.

Here are some spunky facts:

(Taken from “Sperm Wars” by Robin Baker)

On average, from the age of 15 years old all the way to 30 years old, a man will produce 300 million sperm per day. Yes that’s right – 300 MILLION PER DAY. These figures do almost continue into the man’s 40s, 50s and 60s though do drop somewhat (no pun intended) in later life.

But anyway, if he’s producing 300 million sperm each day, over fifteen years that makes a grand total of 163,800,000,000 sperm that each could have been you! But alas, were instead wasted, wiped and thrown away. Over thirty years it’s of course around double that amount. I can’t be bothered to type all the zeros but are you starting to see just how wonderfully miraculous it was that you were ever born?

I mean we’ve not even mentioned bad sperm yet, the stuff that doesn’t want to work. Or the fact your mother even met your father and actually wanted to shag him, with her working vagina! And this goes back even further than your parents; it goes back to their parents and their parents before them and their great grandparents. Generations of people, hundreds of years in the past who met the right partner and managed to avoid death, famine, plague, slavery or impotence until after your future existence was secured.

And there are so many other possibilities to consider.

Q. What if your great-great-great grandfather hadn’t had met your great-great-great grandmother?
A. You wouldn’t have been born.

Q. What if your great-great-great grandfather had met your great-great-great grandmother but sadly died before the two could consummate their relationship?
A. You wouldn’t have been born.

Q. What if your great-great-great grandfather had met your great-great-great grandmother but wasted you on a cheeky pull or affair?
A. You wouldn’t have been born.

Though the above scenarios are rather silly, hopefully you are beginning to see just how wondrous the odds are of ever being born. And we haven’t even started on the universe yet.

I mean what are the odds of the universe being here in the first place? Of the supposed Big Bang?? Or the perfect conditions, natural elements and just the right amount of water which enabled human life to thrive on planet earth. The chances of ANY of this stuff happening and working is billions and billions to one.

How many people do we meet in life? Yet both your parents met. They had sex and JUST at the right time you decided to swim up the fallopian tube (is that right? Biology was never my strong point).

Most of you are probably aware of all this anyway. But just sometimes we need reminding. I know I need reminding.

Each day, no matter how dull or boring or soul destroying it is, each and every one of us can say “I was here!” and we were. We saw the earth and the sky – the clouds and the sun. We’ve felt immense joy and excitement. And sadness and loneliness too. We’ve felt the wind in our hair and the rain on our backs. We’ve really, really lived.

Some people have a rough ride in life, far worse than what I’ve described as ‘the drudgery of life’. Some people constantly struggle and face many tough, uncomfortable or awful circumstances. And I realise that me chanting about how ‘lucky we are to be here’ doesn’t change any of that, but still, what can we do? All stay sad forever? No we can’t, we need to stand up, be as cheerful as fucking possible, be as nice to our fellow man as we can and try to enjoy every day as much as possible. Because in a spinning universe of infinite years (or billions and trillions perhaps) 85 years – if we’re lucky – doesn’t seem that much.

And remember you might not win the lottery but you were still born. And I think that’s pretty fucking great! You were one in forty trillion man, doesn’t that make you feel special? Doesn’t that give you a reason to be cheerful?

Happy New Year 2015.


Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3 – by Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Why don’t you get back into bed?
Why don’t you get back into bed?
Why don’t you get back into bed?
Why don’t you get back into bed?

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3
1, 2, 3

Summer, Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good golly, Miss Molly and boats

Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley and nanny goats

18 wheeler Scammels, dominica camels
All other mammals plus equal votes

Seeing Piccadilly, Fanny sniffin’ Willie
Being rather silly and porridge oats

A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it
Your welcome we can spare it, yellow socks

Too short to be haughty, too nutty to be naughty
Going on forty no electric shocks

The juice of a carrot, the smile of a parrot
A little drop of claret, anything that rocks

Elvis and Scotty, the days when I ain’t spotty
Sitting on a potty, curing smallpox

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3
Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3

Health service glasses, gigolos and brasses
Round or skinny bottoms

Take your mum to Paris, lighting up a chalice
Wee Willie Harris

Bantu Steven Biko, listening to Reko
Harpo Groucho Chico

Cheddar cheese and pickle, a Vincent motorcycle
Slap and tickle

Woody Allan, Dali, Domitrie and Pascale
Balla, balla, balla and Volare

Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy
Being in my nuddy

Saying okey-dokey, sing-a-long a Smokie
Coming out a chokie

John Coltrane’s soprano, Adie Celentano
Beuno Colino

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3
Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3

Yes, yes, dear, dear
Perhaps next year
Or maybe even now
In which case

Woody Allan, Dali, Domitrie and Pascale
Balla, balla, balla and Volare

Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy
Being in my nuddy

Saying okey-dokey, sing-a-long a Smokie
Coming out a chokie

John Coltrane’s soprano, Adie Celentano
Beuno Colino

Reasons to be cheerful, part 3
Reasons to be cheerful, 1, 2, 3 

 

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
This entry was posted in Random Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Reasons to be cheerful…..1,2,3

  1. Pingback: Looking for Writers | alfreds almanac

  2. alfredsalmanac says:

    What a wonderful post, just brilliant.

  3. movierob says:

    you must have spent a lot of time researching sperm. 🙂

    great post.

    I’m personally an upbeat person, but I still hear where this is all coming from.

    hang in there Emma!

  4. Wow!!!! Holy cannolli Emma!!! Utterly FANTASTIC post Ems 🙂 And thanks for the thanks. That’s so sweet.Love the quote. I’m also a glass half empty most of the time even if it’s with clear water. We all need a reminder now and then.

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