Lessons from Human Anatomy
Right before your conception, just right after your last moments as a sperm, you were able to outswim 250 million others to the finish line, which coincidentally was also your last moments as an egg. To say that the numbers were stacked against you is a severe understatement. There were 250 million different outcomes; 250,000,000 other possible fetuses. You had 0.0000000004% chances of being conceived. You were born because against the odds, you’ve persevered. You are here because you are a fighter.
Within our bodies, there is over 65,000 miles of veins, arteries and capillaries combined. 65,000. The circumference of planet earth is barely 25,000 miles. If we lay down your blood vessels end to end in a straight line, they could circle the world more than twice. Imagine endlessly pumping eight pints of blood delivering them around the word two times over, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Your heart is capable of great things but your heart is also overworked. It needs some tender, loving care. But don’t expect others to take care of your heart. Their hearts are just as overworked.
We were born with limitations. We cannot see through infrared and ultraviolet rays which prevents us from knowing the world for what it truly is. No matter how hard we try to listen, there are pitches and decibels that we will never hear. And despite us being the most intelligent creatures on this planet, there are still a lot of things we haven’t figured out yet. But we made night vision goggles and telescopes to get us further. We invented the radio and the internet reach the things that we physically can’t. And we made music and poetry and art to tell each other “I’m not perfect. I will probably never be. But I’ll keep trying anyway. I’ll keep trying anyway. I’ll keep trying anyway.”
Unless your skin is dry or flakes off easily, you wouldn’t notice it shredding. But the truth is, most of the dust in your house are your old skin cells. We shred 600,000 particles of skin every hour. We change our outermost layers every two to four weeks. Within a lifetime, we will have one thousand different skins. Those lips that kissed the first love who broke your heart, those are no longer your lips. Those hands that fought dirty in kindergarten bullying weaker kids, those are no longer your hands. And that face, that face which you sometimes call ugly whenever you look in the mirror, in less that 30 days that will no longer be your face. Do not underestimate your capacity to change. You have been changing all your life.
We are all made of atoms constantly moving in a constellation of push and pull. Their main objective is to keep everything of us together. But there will be days, or nights, when you would feel like you are drifting away and you can’t find any gravity in your center to hold you and keep you from falling apart. When this happens, remember that you are not orbiting towards oblivion; Remember that you do not reside in the darkest recesses of space. You were born from the big bang. The oxygen in your lungs. The iron in your blood. The carbon in your flesh. Each element in your body once belonged to interstellar stuff. Do not let the brilliance inside you flicker like a dying flame. Burn up and spread the light.
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