It's all relative

2020-01-02

Adult mayflies can’t eat. They live for as long as it takes them to starve, and then they die. In most cases that’s about a day.

Imagine that. One day to get it all right. 24 short hours to do everything that needs to be done. No takebacks, no second chances. No miracle cures, second chances or stays of execution.

A human might live 30,000 times longer than a mayfly. Humans can eat, and are substantially more mobile than mayflies are. A human life is full of second chances. There is time to spare.

We have something they don’t: chances to learn, experiment and get it wrong on our way to doing what needs to be done. But they have something we don’t: a sense of urgent purpose. A definite need to get it right. We’re better off than they are, as long as we borrow their determination to get it right eventually.