Friday, April 23, 2010

You Have Already Won the Lottery

You have already won the lottery
Human Origin, Story and Happiness.

By Paschal Baute, Lexington Spellbinder storyteller.

A new remarkable book by Robert Emmons, Thanks, describes how the old adage, "Count your blessings" is the key to health, happiness and longevity. An attitude of human gratitude is found in repeated research to be the key to coping with the setback of life and living happily.

Among the numerous blessings in life are some we have no control over. We did nothing to insure our parents met and decided to love one another. One night, in a loving embrace a tiny seed was planted, an egg met a sperm, and our tiny life began. We are an "accident of love."

As that tiny thing began growing, the cells had to multiple a billion times correctly for us to be born healthily. About five out of a hundred children are born with some defect, hidden or obvious. We did nothing to earn that singular gift of life.

And that was only the beginning. All we did for several years, is eat, sleep and poop. Depending on how poopy we were and how neat our mothers were, our diapers were changed 3-5,000 times. It took about 6,000 meals to get us to age 18. We are alive today and prosper because of much loving. No parents are perfect and some children, due to illness, accident or disease do not survive.

When I was born in 1929, the average age span was 58. Now I am a survivor of metastasized cancer at age 80, and statistical tables give me another 6 or 7 years. My wife wears a pacemaker and still skies and manages our beautiful outdoor wedding garden where we live. Could we not each be surrounded by blessings we seldom appreciate?

We are the reason our parents and ancestors lived. We are the reason they cross oceans, prairies, mountains, often with great struggles to have a better life for their children. Born in the U.S.A., we enjoy blessings that are the envy of most of the rest of the world, but won at the terrible cost of about one million lives, In the Civil War alone, 600,000. Despite the flaws and corruption of our government, few of us would move elsewhere. we live in a country built on a view of human rights utterly inconceivable even in the Bible.

Further , the fascinating story of human origins is not usually told and seldom celebrated. We had a hundred grandmothers back to the time of Jesus, but 350 generations back to the time of the first written stories. When we go back to the beginning of storytelling and mythmaking, that journey took about 5,000 grandmothers.

The human race has been on earth about two million years. We know now by archeological evident that all four limbed critters come from a strange looking fish that crawled out of the sea to escape ferocious predators, about 375 million years ago. Scientists today are amazed at how many things Darwin got right, yet the accidental and serendipitous nature of his discovers are not well taught and seldom celebrated. (See Nova program, What Darwin Didn’t Know and the PBS website on evolution)

Why should any of us be here today, to have been born in an age when we can begin to recognize the great and incredible story of our origins, the human journey, and the blessings of this technology age?

Long ago, n the long, long nights when there were only storytelling, it is no wonder that themes were Overcoming the Monster and Rages to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return and Rebirth Themes (Crhistoper Booke, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We tell Stories). These stories helped us survive.

No wonder children love these stories. Their DNA craves them. They are hardwired to adapt and survive, and they love the wonder of the adventures awaiting.

We ourselves, alive today, are the ultimate rages to riches story.
Even more fascinating, it was the storytellers that helped create and shape the culture and beliefs that enabled us to survive, prosper and become the people we are today.

Just as we never dreamed of computers, the internet, microwave ovens, cell phones and Facebook, our children love these stories because they are preparing for worlds we never dreamed of.

Ahh. The mystery and wonder of evolution when story and belief gave us humans a “leg-up” in coping and survival.

Are we blessed? Are you blessed. You answer!

This is not ever to speak of the power of belief and amazing grace.


Comments invited.

Paschal and Charlie Eyer , Lexington Spellbinders, will be teaching a short course on the Power of Story this summer, Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30,
June 12-July 17.


Join us in understanding the power of story to inspire, lead, change and transform human endeavor from the beginning of time. Learn about the fascinating role of storytelling in culture throughout history. Learn and Play with stories. For any adult who has or wishes to develop a love of storytelling.

Reservations required. 231-5549.