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The Mystery of Life

Wise men disagree on many things but agree on this one, that the greatest cause of divorce is marriage. One can never get divorced if they never were married. It is also correct to state that the main cause of death is being alive. Benjamin Franklin once said, “the only certain things in this life are death and taxes.” In many organism death refers to irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain an organism. To humans and animals with a brain, death is the irreversible cessation of functioning of the whole brain. It should be common knowledge that the brain is the control unit for larger members of Kingdom Animalia.
Celebrating Life/FILE

In humans, birth is purely by chance. Very many factors play along, independently until one is conceived and born alive. A viable ovum must be fertilized by a viable sperm. Under the right conditions, a baby is born after about thirty-six weeks on average.

For your information, all female humans are born with all eggs they will ever produce in their lifetime. So these eggs are released at least one egg per ovulation cycle. In a year an average fertile woman can produce around 12 different eggs. Once released, the egg is only viable for 12 to 24 hours. If not fertilized before its expiry time, it becomes null and void.

Conversely, for males, sperms are not ready at birth so they have to be manufactured when they attain puberty. They are manufactured in large quantities. They are also distributed in large quantities whenever needed.

 However, every individual sperm in that package has a potential of fusing with the ovum that is ready for fertilization after copulation.  A sperm can survive for several days in a female’s body.

So a child born in a certain year, could have been a product of any of twelve ova released by the mother that particular year getting fertilized by a single sperm out of billions who made their way to the uterus when called upon.

For the gamblers, you can relate how hard it is to get the right combination while pairing a single ovum monthly against billion potential candidates. That means no one has a plan of giving birth to a specific person. Adults just do it and wait for the outcome. If the bet is not successful for that month, they’ll have to try again next ovulation period until they get it right. That is how lucky it was for the sperm that became you to fuse with the right ovum to form the person reading this.

Maybe if your sperm part of you, fused with another ovum, we could be having totally a different child of your parents. Also if the ovum part of you fused with another sperm you could not be there today.

As for our friend death, it is almost certain that every single soul is heading there at their own pace. Many people have tried to make sense of this bad guy we dislike so much for robbing us. Theologians have tried to make the religious embrace death while anticipating for better life after this life. Some philosophers claim that death is part of living.  They see it as converting energy from one form to another. Whether it is through reincarnation or by other living organisms using your decaying matter as nutrients and passing the energy to the next guy whenever their turn comes, ad infinitum, no one is sure. 

A story is told of the great King Gilgamesh of Ural, who could defeat anyone in a battle. One day, his best friend, Enkidu died. Gilgamesh sat by his body for several days until he saw worms dropping out of his nostrils. The king was terrified and at that moment he decided that he will never die. Armed with his sword and armor, he decided to go look for the Grim Reaper and vanquish him. He didn’t not find the creature that was infamous for stealing Enkidu’s soul. The King gave up and came to a conclusion that when gods created man, they set death as man’s inevitable destiny and man must learn to live with it.

Current scientists and disciples of progress do not share Gilgamesh’s defeatist attitude. To them death is only a technical problem. People do not die because the gods have decreed it but due to various technical problems like heart attack, road accident, choking on favorite food or via infection.  So if all these technical problems are solved, death will be defeated and man will be able to live as long as the oldest tree on earth.

Death causes pain to immediate family members and friends. The pain is agonizing. Everyone has a special connection and relationship such that not even a kid or siblings of the deceased can replace that bond. That is why it is important to say whatever you want to say to anyone when they are still alive to avoid the guilt of wanting to speak to their corpse or graves. They cannot hear whatever you are trying to say. Better still it is not advisable to say to the bereaved that you know how they feel; you can never know how someone exactly feels.

 You are not them; experiences vary from one individual to another. So until the scientists defeats this monster, learn to be nice to your kind. Love yours. 


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