The Randomness of Life: Who has Chosen our Families?

I have got a confession to make: I love my family. I love my father, I love my mother, I love my brother and I love everyone else who is part of my bloodline. But why is that exactly? Because they are family of course! That’s true, but then let me ask myself the following question: what if I would have been born in a different family? What if I, let’s say, would have been born two streets away from the actual place I was born? Would I then still have loved my family? Or – to put it more boldly – would I have even known about the existence of my family (read: my “this life” family)? Of course I would, only then it would have been a different family which I would have known and loved.

Life is full of randomness. And one of the many examples in which this randomness shows its face is in the “choice” of who becomes your family. Because think about it: why is my mother the woman who gave birth to me? Why wasn’t it the woman in the grocery store that I say hello to every day? There seems to be no reason for either of these options, besides the fact that the former “just” happens to be true and the latter “just” happens to be false.

But, when you think about it, the situation is even more absurd than “merely” this innocent little sense of randomness. Because imagine that the woman in the grocery store would indeed have been my – or your – mother. Would I – or you – in that case have known about the existence of my “real” (read: “this life”) mother? Probably not. And you know what? I most certainly wouldn’t have cared one single bit about this. After all, why would you care about not having met someone – my “true” mother in this case – whom you don’t even know exists?

As far as I’m concerned, we only live once. And by “we” I am referring to the “yous” – plural of “you” – reading this article: the collections of hair, brains, thoughts etc. A consequence of this presumption is that all what’s happening in our lives is, whether we like it or not, our truth. But although our truth is in fact what is happening in our lives, we have to realize that it might have easily been otherwise. It would have made just as much – or just as little – sense for the woman in the grocery store to have been my mother, instead of the woman that truly “has become” my mother. Thus, although we can describe our “truths” objectively and in utter seriousness, we shouldn’t forget that the reason why our truth is the truth is completely and utterly random: it “just” happens to be so.

But back to the idea of our mothers and families. In our lives as we know it, our families – often – play a hugely important role. And since this is “just the way it is”, and since this is “our truth in this life”, it isn’t unreasonable for us to love them with all our hearts, right? Because although it might be an utterly random state of affairs, it is still our family and it is still our truth, right? So let’s appreciate our truth, and love our families.

But what do you think?

Written by Rob Graumans

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