You Are Special

You are special.

You are infinitely, unbelievably, absolutely, once-in-a-septillion-years special. That’s right, I’m talking to you, one of the nine-point-two people reading this.

You might not realize your specialness. You might not believe you are unique. You might think I am full of a plentiful substance common to barnyards and hog pens. You might think you are merely ordinary. But you’re not typical. You, my friend, are a regular freak of statistics. And this is the fact.

Right now, there are 7.8 billion humans on the planet. The total number of humans alive right now represents 7 percent of the total number of humans who have ever lived—which is 117 billion humans. And all of these people, past and present, have one thing in common.

They ain’t you.

Nobody has ever been you. Nobody ever will be you again. Nobody will ever have your specific list of traits, talents, and body odor.

This is not some weird new-age schtick. I am speaking mathematically, you are an isolated occurrence. You are an arithmetical rarity so improbable that statisticians still have not figured out how in the Sam Hill you happened.

There is no formula for you. There is no numerical way you could have happened. But just look at you, here you are. Breathing.

You probably waltz around this world thinking your life is no big deal. But au contraire Fred Astair. Science tells us that the paltry possibility of you being born was nothing short of supernatural. We’re talking about nanoscopic odds here.

To illustrate your uniqueness, I will use the illustration of a rock and a fish:

First, imagine that the entire globe is covered in one big, expansive ocean. Now imagine that there is only one little fish swimming in this great ocean. Let’s call this fish Angie because Angie Broginez was the name of the saintly teacher who struggled unsuccessfully to teach me algebra in community college although I had to retake her class not one, but three times.

But getting back the fish. Let’s imagine that someone standing on a random spot on the globe throws a rock into this proverbially giant ocean. Got it? Okay.

Now, tell me, mathematically, what are the odds that this rock will land on Earth’s only fish?

I’ll tell you what the odds are: non-existent.

It can’t happen. It’s virtually impossible. Still, no matter how unlikely this rock-and-fish scenario is, the likelihood of Angie getting pinged by a rock is GREATER than the likelihood of your conception.

So whenever you start to feel crummy, just remember, your birth was a huge deal. In fact, it was more than a huge deal. It was downright inexplicable. Your conception was not just a matter of your mom and dad getting together and slow-dancing to Barry White tunes. A lot of things had to happen first.

First off: your mom’s and dad’s ancestors had to live long enough to have them. Think about it, in a world where roughly 3 million people die each day, what were the odds that every single one of your parents’ ancestors, for 150,000 generations, lived to a reproductive age and made healthy babies who THEN lived long enough to squirt out you?

I’ll tell you exactly what the odds are: 1 in 10 the 45,000th power. Or, speaking in redneck terms: 1 in 10 with 45,000 zeros after it.

This is a number so large that it is greater than the number of particles in the known universe. A number so big, it would take several notebooks just to write it down correctly.

And that’s just the beginning.

Because every one of these ancestors—every single one—had to match exactly the right sperm with precisely the right egg to have even more ancestors which makes the odds even more unlikely.

So what kind of odds are we looking at now? Well, it’s a bigger number than the last number. The odds of several hundred thousand generations of human beings matching their sperm and eggs perfectly, then having several billion successful births that produced you are about 1 in 10 to the 2,640,000th power (about 1 quadrillion multiplied times 1 quadrillion).

Simply put, you are nature’s most infrequent phenomenon. You are not average, you are not business as usual, you are not just any old body. The blessed day you were born was an event that defied chance; there were 400 quadrillion reasons why you should not have happened. But you did happen. And here you sit. Wasting your time reading this.

So go out there and act like the miracle you are.

54 comments

  1. Mary Sumi - May 12, 2022 7:41 am

    Hi Sean – thanks for writing this column – I needed to hear that ♥️

    Reply
  2. Lavenda - May 12, 2022 8:54 am

    WOW…just wow. Thanks Sean..and just so you know, you are a miracle too.

    Reply
  3. Debbie - May 12, 2022 8:57 am

    How amazing is our Creator!

    Reply
  4. Larry Siegel - May 12, 2022 10:20 am

    Wonderfully said my friend!

    Reply
  5. Joy Jacobs - May 12, 2022 10:48 am

    I really, really love this one. ❤️ Forwarded to my teenage granddaughter because it’s exactly what every teenage (and those of us who are beyond our teens) need to hear daily. ❤️

    Reply
  6. Anne Arthur - May 12, 2022 10:49 am

    GOD is great, and so are you for picking up His inspiration to write this piece. You are certainly a special man in God’s eyes. That we all got to know you through your talents is a true gift. Very special.

    Reply
  7. Suzanne DeBoer - May 12, 2022 11:24 am

    Each day a dear friend of mine sends me your writings. I know despite my “no Facebook” policy that I could access your writing, but I love hearing from my friend daily. She is a special individual. Thank you for the ways you prompt us to think and keep in touch and remember our Creation. You are special.

    Reply
  8. Jon Litwiller - May 12, 2022 11:49 am

    Wow,God is so great, it seems like everybody would want to love him and serve.

    Reply
  9. Bevky Thomas - May 12, 2022 11:51 am

    Yep, and then there’s you. Another amazing miracle altogether. Thank you!!

    Reply
  10. Bobbie Gordner - May 12, 2022 11:54 am

    Thank you, Sean! Reading this COULDN’T have been a “waste of time” because I now actually FEEL special :-)!

    Reply
  11. Dee - May 12, 2022 12:05 pm

    Is this a comment on the current US S. Ct. debate?

    Reply
  12. Keloth Anne 💕 - May 12, 2022 12:08 pm

    You are so right—we are filled with such incredible potential and so unique and special. Thanks for always helping us find the sunshine in each day🥰🥰
    Your words are so appreciated

    Reply
  13. Lewis - May 12, 2022 12:10 pm

    Please do not ever stop writing this column. There are nine-point-two people who need it very much.

    Reply
  14. Jan - May 12, 2022 12:10 pm

    You are a gift Sean. A gift to me and to the universe. Thank you for all you do. Thank you especially for your positive attitude and your ability to share it with so many.

    Reply
  15. Priscilla Rodgers - May 12, 2022 12:20 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  16. Rickey - May 12, 2022 12:23 pm

    Quite an argument to protect our unborn miracles.

    Reply
  17. Christine - May 12, 2022 12:26 pm

    Pretty amazing 🤩 WOW. Thank you Father God for life.

    Reply
  18. Scott Ferguson - May 12, 2022 12:27 pm

    God sure is good! I have coaching clients that need to hear this story! Thanks bud!

    Reply
  19. Sue Adams - May 12, 2022 12:28 pm

    Thanks. I think we needed that!

    Reply
  20. robnrockin - May 12, 2022 12:40 pm

    Dear Sean, i luv you! You are so precious and special. Don’t you ever forget that! Robyn

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Sean of the South: You Are Special | The Trussville Tribune

  22. Ruth Mitchell - May 12, 2022 1:08 pm

    Man, talk about timing, your words came at the right time to get my attention! You are an amazing writer!

    Reply
  23. Sharon Beasley - May 12, 2022 1:14 pm

    Dear Sean,

    I read your column religiously every.single.day ….. and you consistently BLESS ME with your words of encouragement and HOPE for the future. THANK YOU for that. I mean it, we need more people like you. Your optimism is contagious! ☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️

    Reply
  24. Richard Owen - May 12, 2022 1:47 pm

    I NEVER think of reading your columns as a “waste of time.” In fact, they are usually the highlight of my day.

    Reply
  25. SLP - May 12, 2022 2:17 pm

    So let’s be ProLife

    Reply
  26. Pieter Voorhees - May 12, 2022 2:21 pm

    I’m on it, Dano

    Reply
  27. peanut💛 - May 12, 2022 2:44 pm

    sean, you have no idea no idea who i am. but i love your posts. thank you for this one!

    Reply
  28. Josie Wales - May 12, 2022 2:54 pm

    This is remarkable! Not only interesting and filled with Sean-love, but truly interesting. People don’t generally realize that a woman can have eggs that actually kill get beloved’s sperm! She could have children with another man; he could have children with another woman. Extreme Love and the wonder of adoption have created a blissful home

    Reply
  29. Dale Parsons - May 12, 2022 3:13 pm

    Thank you.

    Reply
  30. Pyrthroes - May 12, 2022 3:35 pm

    The first rule of lotteries is that “Someone always wins, but it will never be you.” In context, this means that virtually any given instance –any statistically valid “independent variable”– is functionally unique. Fish, water… whatever, your tossed rock will land somewhere, yet virtually never on a selective fish.

    The larger point is that “something rather than nothing” is an epistemic condition for anything to happen; and by “anything” we mean the cosmos’ dual Material-Spiritual reality driving evolutionary growth-and-change. As Darwin intimated, “Being exists in essence as potential, for not in Being but Becoming lies The Way.”

    Because syllogistic Proof fails trans-rational Truth, categories such as Light and Love both “simply are”. In practice, humanity is born to learn; to learn is to love; and to love is to bequeath posterity the legacy of Life and Light revered forebears have bestowed on us. As these “great Givens” reflect an all-abiding Spiritual Essence, rough-hewn Providence fostering cosmic harmony’s sine qua non, we cite Pascal in urging beatific Mother Teresa’s heartfelt confession of “faithful ignorance”: “Etsi Deus daretur,” act as if Divinity exists.

    Reply
  31. Joyce - May 12, 2022 3:48 pm

    Thank you

    Reply
  32. imcdbw - May 12, 2022 3:54 pm

    I absolutely LOVE how you address the current media issue/explosion/outrage in such a way as to completely skewer the point so succinctly that no one can avoid it. This is an amazing talent that you have developed into a skill which should be copied by every public speaker/writer on this planet. The problem with other speakers is that they make the assumption that their listeners are not that bright, which is wrong as well as incorrect.
    You, sir, are brilliant!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Campbell - May 15, 2022 9:18 am

      This! Thank

      Reply
  33. John Myers - May 12, 2022 4:01 pm

    “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    Reply
  34. Susie Flick - May 12, 2022 4:05 pm

    Amazing article – we all are I guess “amazing”! When I read your words today, it made me think of my grandparents, parents and aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, granddaughters (2 very blessed) and all my friends. I am a very lucky person to have so many special people in my life! Thankful and grateful every day.

    Reply
  35. Patricia Gibson - May 12, 2022 4:14 pm

    Thanks!!

    Reply
  36. Anita Loupe - May 12, 2022 5:44 pm

    You are a good man, Sean Dietrich. I hope that these words reach those who need it most.

    Reply
  37. Becky Bryant - May 12, 2022 6:17 pm

    You are a blessing from God to all his children including me. I love your humor!

    Reply
  38. Robert (Robin) Moore - May 12, 2022 6:23 pm

    Excellent ! Thanks. Enjoyed it very much.

    Reply
  39. claudia kennedy - May 12, 2022 6:31 pm

    This made my day, my year, my life! Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  40. Rhonda - May 12, 2022 7:14 pm

    AMEN. BEAUTIFULLY SAID.
    I HOPE THE ABORTED BABIES IN HEAVEN GET TO READ THIS!

    Reply
  41. MAM - May 12, 2022 8:14 pm

    And you, Sean, are one of those miracles, whose inspired writing is read every day by lots of other miracles. So, let’s all act like we are deserving of being one of those miracles.I know it will make me try harder!

    Reply
  42. Vicki Hendrickson - May 12, 2022 9:24 pm

    What a great column today. It’s mind boggling. I love your daily columns, but you need to stop putting yourself down as a crummy ordinary writer. You are just as unique as the people you wrote about today. Your writing style is like you are talking to just me. That says a lot about you. Say hi to your lovely wife for me too.

    Reply
  43. Susan - May 12, 2022 9:31 pm

    Yes! And God loved each one enough to make that happen!

    Reply
  44. Linda Moon - May 12, 2022 9:46 pm

    I often paraphrase “you are special” for the smaller of my two cats. They both are special, but the older one never needs to be reminded. He struts! You are definitely one of nature’s best, Sean, a read Miracle Man!

    Reply
  45. throughmyeyesusa - May 12, 2022 11:23 pm

    Well said and timely. Would that it might reach those who endorse the plucking out of tiny bits of such wonder & amazing humanity before it can reach expression in this world.

    Reply
  46. Linda Moon - May 12, 2022 11:46 pm

    P.S. If you write it, we will read….and that’s a miracle, too.

    Reply
  47. Layne Barrett - May 13, 2022 12:34 am

    Sean, you are truly a Barnabas. Thanks for your encouragement

    Reply
  48. Holly - May 13, 2022 1:38 am

    LOVE THIS ❤️ Someone needed to read this today ❤️

    Reply
  49. Jane - May 13, 2022 2:55 am

    Perfection

    Reply
  50. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - May 13, 2022 3:01 pm

    Reply
  51. Ann - May 14, 2022 12:23 am

    I just love this one to infinity!

    Reply
  52. Rhonda Sciortino - May 14, 2022 3:17 pm

    I LOVE THIS and I’m pretty sure I love you, Sean of the South! My friend and I help people find and fulfill the good purpose for their lives. We do a podcast called FIND YOUR PURPOSE NOW and retreats that lead people through the process of discovering the clues to their purpose. I plan to share this with everyone who goes through our process, and we’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you join us on the podcast. What say you??

    Reply
  53. Judith Comer - May 17, 2022 4:21 am

    Hi, Sean. Of course, if there are parallel universes to ours existing in a different dimension, you and I might exist in a parallel universe. I wonder if we are making the same choices in that universe or if we are living a different life?

    Reply

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