Adapted from “No Regrets Living: 7 Keys to a Life of Wonder and Contentment.”
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” —Albert Einstein
I am firmly in the latter category. We all have a choice we can make in how we see the world. “No Regrets Living” asks you to discover the miracles around you. But to do that, first consider my definition of miracles: objects and events in nature and in our lives that, as with the inside of living human beings I have seen in the operating room or the human cells I have seen under a microscope in my laboratory, cannot be fully explained or re-created.
You needn’t go to medical school to appreciate the ubiquity of miracles, as I’ve defined them. Rain is miraculous, so are flowers and trees and the extraordinary diversity of species on this planet. Huge whales and elephants are miraculous, and so are tiny guppies and insects. Dolphins talk to one another, so do whales, but it turns out ants and gnats do as well. Scientists and naturalists have documented intelligence and learning abilities in innumerable species of animals, and have also studied what appear to be their moral codes – for example, the care of hurt, disabled, or abandoned animals by others of their own species, and even by animals of other species; the grief shown by animals of many species for lost parents or offspring; and the shunning by members of certain colonies of others in the colony who play too rough or act cruelly. While we can easily anthropomorphize those human-like characteristics, what of Earth’s nearly infinite species that have qualities unlike any human?
For example, how can we understand hummingbirds, one of my favorite species? Besides being gorgeous, they are gifted with some of the most extraordinary physical abilities in nature. They have the highest metabolic rate per body mass of any living animal, with wings that beat up to eighty times per second. Per second! They can hover in midair, fly at 35 mph, and dive at 50 mph. They recover their energy by slipping into a state of hibernation every night during which their metabolic rate slows to one-fifteenth of normal. Seriously, how cool (miraculous!) are hummingbirds? How can we explain their abilities, or even their existence?
(Photo credit – my friend Jim Ward, with permission)