"in Socrates day he was maybe 1/250,000th of the population, Lincoln: 1/1,000,000,000th. Each of us? 1/6,200,000,000th."So here are some more sad statistics that have jumped out at me recently reflecting the unbearable lightness of our being.
The chances are that you will have eight great-children. Of those eight great-grandchildren only two will remember your name. I learned this in an excerpt from The Human Body that I use with students of medicine. They don't find it as depressing as I do. (We learned from the same excerpt that I can except to shed 19 kilos of dead skin during my lifetime. Now that gets a reaction)
And here, for balance, is another statistic confirming, this time, the inevitable heaviness of our (or at least my) being. In a chapter from Atul Gawande's book Complications that I had chosen to study in class today, I stopped at the following piece of information: a review of decades of diet studies
"found that between 90 and 95% of people regained one-third to two-thirds of the weight they'd lost within a year — and all of it within five years."Again, my class of skinny 19-year-olds weren't as disheartened by that information as I was.