There’s a line which sticks with me from the recent remake of War of the Worlds. It sounds like Morgan Freeman who says it at the end of the film as the Martians have been vanquished not by armies or modern weapons, but by a simple virus.

He says words to the effect of the hubris and arrogance of ‘them’ to believe they could win their place on earth in a moment when others had fought for theirs through millions of years of struggle to be the fittest.

A similar thought came to me this morning talking to my partner today about our lives. It’s easy to feel that there are big changes we can make which would make our lives even happier. New job, move house, a bigger garden, less work, more money. But I’m increasingly convinced that happiness, flourishing and fulfilment are the product of many small things – not things you can confidently and sustainably change directly by conjuring up big changes.

Of course we could win the lottery, have our house destroyed by fire or worst of all have one of us die. Big things could happen bad or good and we would evolve – or not – like viruses, dinosaurs or finches beaks. What I’m starting to believe is ‘the good life’ evolves from myriad small choices, chances, modifications and improvements and not big leaps in the dark.

We concluded this morning that we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of one of us making a big change, but we equally shouldn’t forget that our life has evolved to a pretty good state.

Like those Martians beware the hubris and arrogance which says you can conquer life or design a better one – evolution is infinitely more powerful.

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