24 Nov '11, 8pm
Luck and gratitude
At this time of year I am always keenly aware of my good fortune. In particular, I am aware the huge role that sheer chance has played in the most pivotal episodes of my life. I met my wife because I went to a bar one random weeknight with my friend Peter, who was being set up with a woman. Turned out she was too shy to talk to him, so she talked to me to relieve the tension. (Sorry, Peter.) I got my job without a day's experience in journalism or environmentalism -- I just happened to see an ad for an assisant editor on Craiglist and my long, overwrought cover letter happened to reach the right person. I was Grist's fifth full-time employee; I think we're up to 25 or so. I can think of a hundred reasons why I might have gone to some other bar that night and never met the shy woman. Or why I might have gone to Monster.com instead of Craigslist and ended up back in my soul-...