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the kanye effect

"That which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger."

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

I was reading an old issue of Elle lying around in our house when I came across this article entitled, "Neurotica: I Will Survive..." by Rachael Combe. Basically the whole article is about our immune system and how our body adapts when certain diseases spread like wildfire. Our body has a natural tendency to fight off the germs that attack our body, in the form of antibodies or white blood cells. As our body resist these pathogens, it builds up strength and stamina to withstand future viruses of the same kind. Let's take chicken pox for example. Once you get it as a kid, you'll never get it again -- you're immune. This leads to another point brought up in the article: kids who have been exposed to more pathogens and infections at a young age are less likely to contract more serious maladies when they grow up. It doesn't mean that getting all those vaccinations and staying indoors during the rainy season when we were young doesn't pay off. But being perfectly hygienic and clean also has it downsides. Our body does not get the opportunity to get into "auto-attack" mode because we wipe the germs clean right away even before our immune system can fight against it. In Taekwondo for example, you won't earn the higher belts just by knowing all the moves, you must be able to DO it and perform it yourself for you to store up the vigor you need. Same goes for our system. And using antibiotics or medicines for illnesses that are very minor (like colds) can only make things worse for us because "the weaker bacteria succumb easily, but the stronger ones hang on. At the same time, healthy flora and fauna in our system are wiped out... leaving a wide-open space for the nastier bugs to happier multiply."

So what do we do then? Eat dirt and run around naked? Not necessarily. The article concludes by saying that sometimes our body has to overcome the pathogens on its own for it to survive. Of course we still need to practice the common healthy habits like washing our hands regularly and getting enough rest, but basically trying to protect ourselves one hundred percent is futile. Paranoia never does good to anyone so might as well relax for a little while and let our bodies deal with it the way it should.

This really got me thinking.. if our bodies are capable of managing and handling these germs and bacteria, why isn't it as efficient as it is when dealing with other headache-inducing factors like stress, heartbreak, or anxieties? I mean, why doesn't it switch into "auto-attack" mode when these strike? Come to think of it, these factors have the same effect as the scientific pathogens: you can't get our of bed, you can't think properly, you can't sleep at night, and you need some taking care of. So haven't you ever wondered why we weren't created to have anti-stress-bodies to fight them off just like the white blood cells were created to battle with the viruses?

I guess in the same way our immune systems builds its stamina as it deals with the pathogens that our minds and hearts gets to store up on toughness and strength when attacked with life issues, don't you think? Maybe that's just really how humans are. In some ironically funny way, when we are damaged, we survive.

All together now..

"N-n-now th-that don't kill me, can only make me stronger."