RE: Robert Rubin’s autobiography In an Uncertain World (Random House, 2003)
I find that maybe randomness is not merely the noise but the dominant factor. And those reasons we assign to historical events are often just ex post rationalizations.
What I realized is that if we look at one individual’s life in isolation, it is very tempting to come to the conclusion that one’s particular actions lead to whatever happens next. But if we look at the society as a whole or look across generations, we can see that people with very similar backgrounds can take similar actions and end up with vastly different results.
This brings me back to the title of Rubin’s book, his “uncertain world.” In such a world, the vast majority things are outside our control, determined by God or luck. After we have given our best and once the final card is drawn, we should neither become too excited by what we have achieved nor too depressed by what we failed to achieve. We should simply acknowledge the result and move on. Maybe this is the key to a happy life.