The likelihood of meeting the person you’re destined to be with is a statistical anomaly. That’s if you believe it’s even possible. Be that as it may, my parents almost never met.

My mother was in love with a man named Donald Dayton. In the 1970s when the American automotive manufacturing industry was still thriving, and before health and safety regulations were what they are today, Donald spent his summers working at a plant in Detroit. It was great money for a black kid at the time, but unfortunately the air he breathed working there was toxic. He developed a lung disease called sarcoidosis. Today this is more treatable than it was then. Sadly, Donald would succumb to his sickness. This would not be the last time my mother would lose the love of her life to the American working environment.

Scientists today have said that sitting is the new smoking. It’s something we all do without the long term health risks being understood. Most of us sit all day staring at screens. Will we look back at our current day jobs through the same lens we look at the inhumane working conditions of the past? My guess? We definitely will.

After Donald’s funeral my mom got in her car and drove for days, without any destination in mind. It was the worst thing she had ever been through, up to that point. Unbeknownst to her then, it would also be the catalyst that would ultimately propel her into the world she knows today. Even more importantly, for the purposes of our story, I owe my existence to this seemingly horrible event.

There’s an old fable, of the wise man, that goes:

There was a boy in a village who wanted a bike and finally got one. The people of the village thought it was great. Reserving judgement, the wise man said ‘we’ll see’. The boy broke his arm riding that bike. The villagers then thought it was bad. The wise man said ‘we’ll see’. Then war came but because the boy had a broken arm, he didn’t have to go. The people changed their tune again and thought him breaking his arm had turned out to be a good thing. The wise man simply stated, we’ll see…

These stories reflect the importance of non-judgement and non-attachment to any particular outcome. It’s best to stay here in the present moment. We never know where it will take us.