A student sat in the office of her college professor seeking help in her Biology 101 class. It was April 22 and many students had skipped classes and left campus to celebrate Earth Day. The student took advantage of the professor’s unusual availability and asked for her assistance.
Professor: “OK, put it this way”, the professor said. “In the domain of the body there are several types of cells.”
Student: “OK”, said the student.
Professor: “Each cell is similar fundamentally but demonstrates certain traits that distinguish it from others.”
Student: “As an individual cell?” asked the student.
Professor: “Well, sure in terms of individuality, but I am talking about groups- sets of cells that share these traits with each other but not other groups of cells”, the professor clarified.
Student: “Oh, well how many groups are there?”
The student waited for an explanation.
The professor continued:
Professor: “You see, there is one group that acts aggressively. This is fine when a foreign agent enters the cells’ domain- the body- and threatens it and their health. But when they act aggressively due to false threats or without the presence of any threats they become a threat to both the domain and the other cells.”
Student: “Sure. I’ve studied that”, the student remarked.
Professor: In such cases, the aggressive cell attack the other cells which they perceive as some threat despite signs and evidence to the contrary.”
Student: “What constitutes as signs and evidence?”
The professor spent some time explaining.
Student: “I see.”
Professor: “The second group of cells recognizes they are wrongly being attacked and takes action to defend themselves. The problem is some of them grow weary and begin to break down and attack themselves. It is as if they can not distinguish the enemy.”
Student: “Whoa, I’ve seen some cases of that as well in lab”, replied the student. “What about the third group?”
Professor: “The third group actually recognizes both of the other cells as part of the normal domain, but here is the kicker-“
The professor leaned over in her chair, edging closer to the student as if to whisper something too incredulous to speak aloud.
Professor: “This group reacts in either of two ways: ether they steer clear of both of the two groups mentioned, conducting normal functions like delivering oxygen or they attempt to mimic one of the two cell groups’ actions and are attacked by the same two groups. Either way, many of the cells in the third group do not survive because they are weaker than cells in the other two groups.”
Student: “Geesh!” gasped the student. “So what happens then? I can’t imagine that such behavior can continue without adversely impacting the body- er- domain.”
Professor: “Absolutely!” chimed the professor. “The cells begin to die off because they are either attacking and being attacked in self defense; attacking themselves due to incoherency or lack of ability to distinguish the enemy; or die from an increasingly polluted and weakened domain; or die from weakness and inability to ward off the warring cells.”
Student: “So, without a change in behavior, ultimately both the cells and the domain die”, reasoned the student.
Professor: “You’ve got it”, the professor confirmed.
Student: “Really! When you put it that way, it all seems so plain- so familiar”, the student stated.
Professor: “It should. Humans behave similarly. Like human, like cell.”
As you celebrate days like Earth Day remember that consideration of your fellow man and well being of our planet is a 365-day duty. You cannot save or heal if you do not act positively or do not act at all.
Cells (group 1)= human attackers
Cells (group 2)= humans that get lost on the way or are wrongly attacked
Cells (group 3)= apathetic humans
"Wisdom is better than weapons of war. . ."