I was just thinking about the varied circumstances that have led to me being right here, leading the life that I am leading. Everybody, I am sure has done this, thinking back to a particular event that seems to be a major turning point in one’s life. If we had made a different decision at a critical juncture then our lives would have turned out totally different.
There are many small decisions that we make throughout the day that affect our lives, but there seem to be a few pivotal events I can think of which would have led to major changes in my life if I had made a slightly different decision. It is usually only with hindsight that we can spot these pivotal episodes. I am sure that there are many choices that we make throughout the day that have the potential to be one of these nexus points, but because of the choices that we make, we never realize that we have passed one of these probability points. Most choices lead to a continuation of our daily routine, but if we make slightly different decisions then major changes can occur.
I can remember one cold wintery night back in January, 1974 in Decorah, Iowa. I was enjoying a drowsy evening listening to classical music, reading and drinking tea, when there was a sudden knock at the door. I was somewhat irritated at being disturbed and I was loathe to get up and open the door to the frigid cold. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was one of those critical nexus points. If I had decided to ignore the knock, I would have gone on down the life path that I was on at that time, and I would never have realized that I had been brushed by the dark wings of change. However, I got up reluctantly, opened the door…and my life was sucked into a hurricane of change and turmoil which led me down a dark divergent path far from my loved ones and all that I had known before. I stand here where I am today because of that long ago decision.
This is just one fork in my life that I remember, but when I ponder this, I realize that my life was full of such episodes–arguably an infinite number of nexus possibilities. And not just my life, but the lives of those around me, the lives of my parents, the decisions that they made each moment of their lives which led to the present reality…and so on, the decisions of their parents, etc, etc. back to the beginning. When pondering this I realize that the probability of ANY event occurring is infinitesimal. NOTHING is really possible when the infinite probabilities are considered for any one event. And yet, of course, things do happen, improbable as these events are! The arrow does move!