Life is a little more like Las Vegas than you might think. Either way it’s a gamble. Numbers are interesting. They’re precise, not difficult to remember the order, and seem to find their way into everything. Life is a numbers game.
Numbers. Like gambling in Las Vegas. Or, insurance, extended warranties, and exercise club memberships.
Las Vegas’ success is made up of numbers. The house has to win enough to stay in business.
The player (you) has to win enough to want to try again, not enough to leave and not come back.
Insurance is a numbers game. Insurance companies are betting a certain amount that, in the case of life insurance, that you’ll live long enough not to collect on your insurance policy.
Multiply those numbers a few millions times, spread the potential losses over many states or countries, and the insurance company reduces risk and makes money.
If everyone died at the same time there’d be hell to pay in the insurance industry.
The exercise club down the street is pretty much the same. It’s a number’s game.
The club sells memberships to use the clubs exercise equipment and facilities for a month or a year. The amount is modest, perhaps $40 or $75 a month (I‘m guessing, so bear with me).
In their world of numbers if everone with a membership showed up at the door to exercise each day, they’d be overrun and close down or turn away hundreds or thousands of angry members.
In other words, they don’t want you to exercise. They just want you to pay the money each month.
Life is full of numbers games.
For example, if you eat right, live modestly, reduce stress, floss and brush your teeth, exercise regularly, get your shots, and so on, you’re likely to live longer than those who don’t.
Likely, yes. Guaranteed, no.
There’s nothing to prevent all the members of an exercise club from showing up at the door at the same time. Chaos would rule, right?
So, why don’t the numbers fall that way?
There’s nothing to prevent all the State Farm car insurance policy holders in the state of Illinois from getting into an accident on the same day. But it won’t happen.
Why don’t the numbers fall that way? Is there a law for big numbers? Do statisticians know something and they’re not telling those of use who pay insurance premiums and exercise club membership dues?
If we live a life of various numbers games, where we sometimes win and sometimes lose, so be it with the numbers game itself.
There are certain laws the numbers have to follow, just like laws of physics which dictate bread will fall jelly side down in accord with the expense of the carpet it falls on.
I’ve always flossed, always eaten well, and exercised regularly. I drive the speed limit, and except for a relationship here and there, never did much that could be construed as stressful.
The numbers say my days are numbered. Life might be a numbers game for all of us. So is death.
I just don’t agree with the numbers.
Editor’s Note: Before her death, Tera passed along her personal journal. It is filled with hundreds of comments, essays, observations, and perspectives on every subject matter. As time permits, I will edit and publish select journal entries for Tera Talks—Alexis Kayhill