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Congratulations. You’re alive. There’s an unbroken thread that stretches across more than three billion years that connects us to the first life that ever touched this world.

Think of how tough, resourceful and lucky all of our countless ancestors must have been to survive long enough to pass on the message of life to the next and the next and the next generation, hundreds of millions of times before it came to us. There were so many rivers to cross, so many hazards along the way. Predators, starvation, disease, miscalculation, long winters, drought, flood and violence. Not to mention the occasional upheavals that erupted from within our planet and the apocalyptic bolts that come from the blue.

No matter where we hail from or who our parents were, we are descended from the hearty survivors of unimaginable catastrophes. Each of us is a runner in the longest and most dangerous relay race there ever was, and at this moment, we hold the baton in our hands.

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February 12, 2017 Neil deGrasse Tyson



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