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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chances


     My life these days is based on chances.

     Without regard on how astronomical the chances may be, I still look for a better time ahead, a better time than what I have just experienced during this last year.

     Chances, I suppose, are the same as hope. Hope is based on faith, so even my stalwart atheism somewhat takes a backseat when blanketed in faith that it will be better.

1. Odds of winning the lottery. 1 in 42 million

If I win tomorrow, without any taxes or interest income, I will earn approximately $16,667.00 per month for the next 20 years. I will be 82 years old at that time and I suspect I will be dead. Maybe not, but I will have slowed down. Or at a interest rate of 3 % with an inflation rate of 3.5 % a year my Initial Monthly Payout : $ 16348.50 Over 20 Years. Not that I have not calculated the possible results.

2. Odds of being struck by lightning:1 in 835,500 (I suspect there is an adjustment because we have little to no lightning in the desert.)

3.  Odds of being in a plane crash: 1 in 10,790,000. (Again there is probably an adjustment because up until this year, I was a frequent flyer. My odds, I am sure, dropped against me.)

4. Odds a child younger than 15 will die due to an accident involving a balloon: 1 in 30,350,000 (I also suspect I have beaten this one as I have made it 47 years past 15. I would further suspect that there are odds calculated somewhere that a large balloon could fall on me from above.)

5. Odds of an adult having to visit the ER due to eating pasta: 1 in 115,300 (Again, I suppose that there may be an adjustment for cultures where pasta is a larger part of the regular diet.)

            As everyone says, I have greater odds of being struck and killed by a meteorite or run over by a school bus than even winning the lottery. As in hope and faith, we chose a God, a religion, a path to follow. We chose either by what is convenient to our neighborhood, or we follow the teachings of those we recognized as more evolved from the comfort of our own home. Either way, the odds of me becoming an Evangelical Christian at this point in my life, is about the same as becoming a practicing Buddhist. Much greater odds if self-immolation were to be part of my final self expression.

     I used to judge odds by asking myself how I felt standing in a line of people with a gunman with a single shot walking up and down the line. The gunman randomly chooses a person to shoot in the head. I suppose being shot in the head is like winning, so I purchase the lottery tickets. I suspect the shooter will point their gun at my head and....

            Not at this point, I am waiting for a day, a point in time that I hope I will begin to change my life, to return to the course of financial stability I have known for 30 years or once again to take a chance and begin to express myself artistically and be rewarded handsomely for my efforts.

            Still, if the odds are low that a Publisher will come knocking on my gate and ask if anyone in the household has a fiction book completely and ready to edit and print, I shall be ready for that one. It is possible.

            Maybe we balance if an action or response to an action is possible, impossible (I doubt I will be chosen to play with any major sports team or be asked to join the NASA as an astronaut), probable or improbable. And I think that leads us back to the lottery with odds of winning the lottery. 1 in 42 million.

     Rather improbable.

     I wonder if I have based my future on this improbability or is it just another variation to count sheep to help in going to sleep at night while I calculate my income. Sometime I feel that I have based my hopes of the future on that, sometimes I chose not to think about it.

            Regardless, it does offer a hope, a chance, even a possibility, no matter how infinitesimal and in that way, it ranks up there (with me anyway) of a old man with a big golden chair sporting long white hair and a flowing white beard that matches nicely the long full length robe with a golden rope tie and braided trim on the bottom and along the sleeves. He has had that robe for a long time and may have sat in that chair for an eternity, doling out results from odds to those of us waiting patiently below for our reward.

            We will see as there is no doubt I am waiting for my results and twice a week, I am disappointed, but I look forward to three days later and the next drawing. At some point, God will look down, see me through the clouds and have that machine spit out those six random (but not really) numbers.

            My life these days is based on chances.