Something happens to everyone.

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2024-07-05 14:30:06

“Why did this happen to me?” is the question we all have when something bad happens in our life. Since we’re the protagonists of our life it makes sense to wonder why something awful had to happen to us. Of course we know that bad things happen all the time, but when something bad happens to us we feel like it’s worth than what happens to others (I guess this is human nature).

There are multiple ways to answer this question: philosophy, religion, psychology, personal experience, or math. In this post I want to approach this from a mathematical perspective. By looking at the numbers, I hope to get a different perspective and maybe gain some empathy.

Before going deep into the math let me outline my reasoning. First, there are a lot of things that can go wrong in life: illness, death, mental health problems, wars, natural disasters, etc. Since the list is long it makes sense that at least one of these things can happen to us. Then, on the other hand, the source of suffering is not always bad things happening to you, but it can be things happening to the ones you love. With these two factors combined it’s clear that at some point in your life you or someone you love will undergo through a tragic situation.

Now we have a sketch of our solution, we only need to make some assumptions and put some numbers to get the concrete answer to the question. Let’s start with the assumptions

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