What are the odds?: Message from the Morning Man by Kojo Yankson


What are the odds?: Message from the Morning Man
by Kojo Yankson

23rd July 2015

Today, I won’t talk much. You see, I’ve been struck by a rather sobering thought and I just want to share it with you very quickly this morning. First, let’s do some simple mathematics.

At this very moment, as we speak, the World Clock website estimates that there are 7,330,415,540 people on earth. Make that 542… 543… The number keeps growing. And you are one of these 7.3 billion people.

Now get this: every second, two people die. Two people. Just like that. Since I started reading this message 110 people have died. While you were sleeping, 57,600 died. Death ran its hand over the world while you lay defenceless in your bed, and snatched the breath away from almost 60,000 bodies.
But not yours. You made it through the night. You survived where almost 60,000 people didn’t.

I want you to think about it for a minute, because it’s even deeper than that. Not only did you escape death last night, but you have escaped death every single night and every single day since you were born.
How old are you? I turned 36 last month, so that means I have successfully survived 13,191 nights. Through no real effort from me. While I have been snoring my life away for 36 years, 759,801,600 people have lost their lives. That’s enough people to fill Ghana thirty times over! All these people have failed to make it through the night, but I have made it every single night, and so have you.

But it gets even better. Look at it this way. Every night you go to bed, there are two possible outcomes: you will either wake up in the morning, or you won’t. Just like when you toss a coin. You can either get heads or tails. So every night you wake up alive, it’s like getting heads in a coin toss. So in my case, the fact that I woke up alive and safe this morning is pretty much like tossing a coin 13,191times and coming up with heads each time.

What are the odds of that? How many times has YOUR coin come up heads? And when will it finally come up tails?

If you don’t believe in miracles, you’d better start now, because guess what: the fact that you’re here and able to doubt miracles is the biggest miracle of all.
I won’t talk much, because you clearly have a lot of praying and thanksgiving to do.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and just like you, I beat impossible odds to be here this morning.