Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post-flu Gratitude...

You ever notice that after a cold or flu your body seems renewed somehow? Like it's weathered another assault and has come out stronger? I think we try so hard to evade these basic bugs because they interfere with our lifestyle, but what if we viewed them as friends, as catalysts for stronger immunity.

We must really remember that we're animals. We're subject to our environment. Regardless of our lofty schedules and ideals, we are organic beings subject to bacteria and viruses and all things great and small. Somehow I think we get it in our minds that we should be absolved of the inconvenience of these maladies. But what if we learned to see them as just part of the process of being a human animal on this planet? What if we stopped seeing our bodies as the enemy that must be overcome and whipped into perpetual performance? What if we started living in harmony with the seasons and the changes they bring with them? What would happen then?

Why do we battle cancer? Why are we at war with AIDS? Why do we use such violent language to describe these processes? I have spent a good part of the past 20 years fighting with my own body. Through chronic illnesses of many sorts, I began to see my body as the enemy. But it's just a body, doing its body thing. It's a part of the cosmos. Like every other living thing it experiences change, illness, decay, malady. Why did I expect my body to be any different? Do we get upset with a tree for shedding its leaves? Do we get angry with a flower when it begins to wither?

Sentience can be a dangerous thing sometimes. Our ability to reflect on what it means to be human sometimes lacks the remembrance of our humble beginnings. Perhaps we will one day evolve immune systems that can repel the common cold and flu, but for now, they are part of the package of being the human animal. Let's keep it in perspective.

tall penguin

No comments: