I Am…


…you are, he is, she is, they are…  But you knew that already, didn’t you?  Or have you really stopped to think about it recently – or ever for that matter?




I guess we need a little clarification on this.  So…do this. Touch yourself.  That’s right, go ahead and touch yourself. 


So, what did you feel?  Skin?  Of course.  Maybe some hair?  OK.  How about warmth?  Sure, unless you’re standing naked in your back yard in Minnesota in the middle of January.  (You really need to get back inside as quickly as possible – and try to cut back on the quantity of hot toddies…)


Unless you’re numbed out of your gourd or weren’t really paying attention, you felt YOU!  So what’s so special about that?  YOU’RE ALIVE!  Honest-to-goodness, really alive!  Think about it.  For about a zillion years you weren’t – alive that is.  You did not exist.  You were only scattered molecular stardust.  You could have been a little part of just about anything you can think of – oak tree, beach, chicken feathers – you name it.  (Don’t dwell too long on this thought.  It can get pretty gross real quick if you let it.)


From the beginning of time, we have been nothing more than a potential biological jigsaw puzzle waiting for assembly.  And now – son-of-a-gun, here we are.  From two microscopic half-cells merged in a surge of passion, the miracle of genetics has transformed that single cell into a zillion-celled, complex, functioning animal organism.


‘Tain’t no big deal, you say?  It happens every day?


Oh, c’mon, now.  It is a mega-deal that happens thousands and thousands of times a day.  And – it happens with a terrifically small percentage of errors.  As a general rule, our noses, eyes and ears wind up in pretty much the right place on our heads.  We have the correct numbers of arms, legs, fingers and toes.  And our innards are all positioned normally and function as they were intended.  All this from a microscopic cell latched onto the lining of Mom’s womb!


Let’s take a quick inventory of “us”.


We all have a really cool, flexible, articulating framework as a foundation for the rest of the stuff we’re made of.  Over 200 bones, all connected together and hinged so we can walk, talk, stand, sit, run, bend, stoop, squat, jump, reach, grasp, point, scratch, eat, push, pull, lift, swim, lie down and perform any other maneuver or contortion you can think of.  Cool, huh?  In addition of course, some of this framework also does a great job of protecting our insides – brain, lungs, heart, and digestive system – from damage from excessive outside forces.


All of these fairly solid hunks of material are connected and maneuvered by our tendons, ligaments and muscles.  The assemblies of interconnected, expandable, contractible, cells that work harmoniously as directed to allow us to accomplish all of the things we’ve already mentioned.


Think about it!  Just the fact that we have a solid supporting framework that we can manipulate and move pretty much as we desire is amazing in and of itself!


Our basic building blocks – our cells – are all individually live little bits of protein and goo that use the oxygen and nutrients they are supplied to multiply and do the jobs required of the organ that they are a part of.


Our digestive system takes the raw materials we provide it in the way of food (and occasionally assorted garbage), processes it into a form usable by the cells and ships it out through our internal distribution system.  The unusable excess is dumped (excuse the term) externally.


Our circulatory system – heart, arteries, capillaries, veins – transport nourishment, oxygen, and an assortment of other chemicals and substances (hormones, biological warriors, waste materials and occasional invading buggies) to and from all of our body parts (individual cells).


Our respiratory system – lungs and associated passageways – snags the oxygen from the air, passes it along to the transporters in our bloodstream, drags the carbon dioxide (one of the byproducts of cell life) back out of the blood and expels it out into the air.


Our nervous system receives outside stimuli from sights, sounds, smells, tastes and “feels”, translates it into generally comprehensible information and either uses it immediately to produce a response or stores it for future reference.  At the same time, it keeps all of our internal processes functioning in a fairly efficient manner.


Add to all of this, our systems and sub-systems for gathering the outside stimuli in the first place (eyes, ears, nose, etc.), fighting off disease, healing injuries, maintaining body temperature, maintaining chemical balance, growing hair, producing freckles, passing gas, reproducing, etc., and suddenly we are introduced to ourselves as an extremely complex biological organism! 


Think about it!  We are one of the most complicated assemblies of parts and pieces on the face of this earth!  We are so complicated in fact, that even after studying our body parts for all these years to try to figure out exactly how all our stuff works, we still don’t know everything!  Maybe we never will.  Who knows?


Are ya trackin’ with me here?  We – you and I – are ALIVE!  We’re functioning and doing all the stuff that we human-type animals do.  If that’s not absolutely mind-boggling, I don’t know what is!


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