On the importance of infinitesimal actions

Here’s a thought I always had trouble wrapping my head around:

In an election my vote statistically doesn’t matter. The chances of my vote being the deciding factor is basically zero.

But if everyone thought that way and no one would vote, well that would make a huge difference.

Each individual vote doesn’t matter but taken together they do.

I think something about the human brain makes it difficult to grasp that a sum of infinitesimal elements (= elements so small that they’re basically zero without being zero) can be significant.

A little junk food won’t do much harm.

A little doomscrolling won’t ruin your mental health.

A little complaining won’t destroy your relationships.

But if summed up sufficiently often, these small actions have a huge impact.

Every day you’re either stacking infinitesimal wins or infinitesimal losses.

Each infinitesimal action is insignificant but taken together they define who you are.

Each moment is insignificant but taken together they are your life.

Written on May 4, 2024

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