22 Sep


What makes us human? After all, we are often reminded that our DNA differs from chimpanzees by only 1%. Thus why is it while they are swinging from trees we are accomplishing feats like creating beautiful art, or bring technology to uncharted areas? There are notable physical differences, like an opposable thumb or our larger, more developed brain, but our differences run far beyond the physical. As a human race, we have the ability to adapt like no other. This ability to adapt has moved our race forward, and can move you forward on a day to day basis. 

If you study our history, even crudely, you will come across countless examples of us adapting: in our humble beginnings food was scarce and dangerous to catch: thus we developed ways to make this process easier- we began to hunt in packs, we developed weapons to more easily hunt our prey. To be able to live in even the most frigid of conditions, we made warm clothing that allowed us to survive. More recently, to satisfy our insatiable need for accessible information, the internet was created. Now, if I were thinking, “I wonder when William Shakespeare was born?” the advent of the internet and our ability to adapt has made it possible for me to type “Shakespeare birthday” into my internet search engine and have the answer in seconds.[1] As a human race we have an uncanny ability to adapt. Even if the rules change we can (and will) master any game. 

This idea of being adaptable need not only apply to the whole of the human race though; if applied to our daily lives, we can enrich ourselves as individuals. I realize this is an abstract concept, so allow me to give you a more concrete and personal example: I attended college and went to school to obtain a medical degree. I trained as a medical resident in Family Practice. I currently hold a Medical License in Michigan. I tell you this only because I am hoping to make it clear that my life was geared toward working. Then, in March of 2013 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that brought my plans to work to a screeching halt. Given this abrupt change, it would have been easy to throw my hands up and surrender; however embedded in my genes (as well as in the genes of every single human being) was a trait that implored me to adapt. The field goal posts might have moved but I still wanted to play the game.  Even though I was on a path to opening my own practice, now with the curve-ball life has thrown me I still use my medical knowledge for the benefit of others. I ask you to do the same: adapt. As a human race we have adapted to progress; as individuals we can change to further our lives. I will leave you with a quote from Bruce Lee, “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”[2]

[1] He was born on April 23, 1564 by the way.

[2] h