Class of 2021
Do you know how amazing you are?
After reading this next paragraph, I would like for you, the reader, to take a few minutes to close your eyes. I want you to feel the weight of your body against the surface you may be sitting on. Take a moment and focus on your breathing. With each breath, feel the oxygen rich air entering into your chest cavity, flowing deep into your lungs. Breathe out the excess air. After a minute or two, open your eyes. Look around the room and bring your hands up in front of your face. Slowly wiggle your fingers and let your hands touch one another.
How many times do we take for granted the amazing complexity and intricacies of the human body? You just closed your eyes through neuromuscular intervention and stimulation from your brain. You unconsciously were tapping into your somatosensory system that has a number of different receptors that communicate with the external environment. You began to override your autonomic nervous system to control your own breathing, a system that uses a myriad of receptors to detect changes in air pressure and volume within your lungs. Your hands were brought into view and your fingers were wiggled through a complex system of nerves arising from your spinal cord all the way through your shoulder, down your arm, and into the tips of your fingers. Pretty cool, huh?
As I learn about the minute biochemical details of the human body in our current class, I sometimes forget about how fascinating this apparent “lifeless” material really is. Your body has millions upon millions of enzymes that regulate one another. You have cells dying, replicating, repairing, and fighting small infections right now in your body. Some cells are helping their neighboring friends out, while others are self-healing. You have special cells circulating in your blood carrying oxygen to all corners of your body to provide energy so that you can move about your daily lifestyle. Different substances are entering into and out of cells to promote growth, while others are binding to cellular membranes to induce complex signaling processes busy at work inside. When I am sitting at my computer in a study room at school memorizing multiple cellular pathways, I so quickly forget that they are actively happening inside of you and me.
We all forget the beauty of ourselves. Our human bodies are fascinating and we take them for granted. I think we are all deeply connected to one another through a common genetic and even mystical bond. How is it that you are comprised of trillions of cells working together in harmony? Those cells have given rise to your personality – your thoughts, emotions, desires, needs, dreams, and memories.
Today, find a way to appreciate your wholeness and innate beauty.
Take a step back and smile, because you are an amazing creation.
I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee before heading to Furman University for my undergraduate studies. Football brought me to South Carolina, and I participated on the varsity team for a little over a year before deciding to focus more of my time on my studies and community involvement. I graduated Furman in May 2014 with a degree in Religion, and I believe that my background allows for a unique perspective into the lives of patients. I have been wanting to practice medicine since my youth, and I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the USC School of Medicine Greenville to pursue that dream.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville