I recently viewed a program on the National Geographic channel entitled “The Human Body.” The program explained in vivid detail how all the cells in the human body function on an everyday basis during the various phases of one’s lifetime, and also discussed the various ways that diseases can fatally prohibit and inhibit normal body flow. The program explained the various ways in which each cell replicates and reproduces itself throughout these stages. It also discussed how external stimuli, both negative and positive, can adversely affect the internal and external organs, thus having an influential impact on the quality of an individual’s life.

I found the program to be very enlightening and entertaining. I also began to reflect, upon watching, how human life can be affected in many ways by the external stimuli, or environment, surrounding it. Since all human beings are born into the world not knowing anything about it (unlike some animals, who seem to come out of the womb with at least some instinctual knowledge, although they, too, need nurturing in the initial stages), it is up to the nurturer to guide and teach them, as the Bible eloquently states, “in the way they should go, so that when they come of age, they will never depart from it.”

It is very important that the nurturer guides him or her through the crucial initial times, for without it, the person would die. During infancy, when the individual is the most dependent and vulnerable, the first touch and speech comes from the nurturer. Later on in life, when the individual is approaching independence and maturity, they also give the guidance, counseling and teaching of the ways of humankind. With the right teaching from the nurturer, the individual has a chance to lead a good, fulfilling life, given that he or she stays on that path upon maturity.

On the other hand, if the nurturer gives the wrong teaching, it will only set the individual up for a disastrous downfall, unless, along the way, the individual (with or without the help of the nurturer, who at that point must decide and desire to make better choices for themselves) deviates from that destructive path and strives to lead a better life.

History, times and past events have been shaped by those who have had, or shared, either good teachings or bad teachings. From Hitler to Jesus and from the decent, law-abiding citizen to the hardened criminal, they all had the same humble beginnings. Somewhere between the nurturing stage and the maturing stage, they were faced with choices. Whether nurtured during peacetime or wartime, in the penthouse or the shack, they eventually had a say in how to live their lives. Their decisions not only affected their lives, but greatly influenced the lives of others. Some of those decisions are even felt in this present day, despite happening very long ago.

It is true that as human beings we have the ability to shape, mold and form the lives of those around us. This is especially true when we shape and mold each other. Since we all live in this world in some capacity and once had to be nurtured by those who came before us, eventually we will be responsible for nurturing those that come behind us. Since the actions of those that went before us bear a great indication of how we are today, the actions that we take right now will greatly determine not only what we become, but how future generations see us and become.

With that in mind, it is up to the individual to learn from the lessons and teachings of the past, striving to be the best possible so that we can not only give a great example to those behind us, but also live a fulfilling life in our own right.

That in itself will allow the human person in the human body to at least function with peace of mind.

Jackson is a UR employee.

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