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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

germs

germ (definitions from Dictionary.com)
1. a microorganism, esp. when disease-producing; microbe.
2. a bud, offshoot, or seed.
3. the rudiment of a living organism; an embryo in its early stages.
4. the initial stage in development or evolution, as a germ cell or ancestral form.
5. something that serves as a source or initial stage for subsequent development: the germ of an idea.

What is it with humans and our paranoia about germs? We hate them! We buy and use chemical cleansers that claim to kill 99% of germs on contact. Does that not seem excessive? Should humans not be concerned that a chemical that powerful might not be very good for us? Somehow we seem to have developed this notion that, if we could just wipe out all the germs, we could live in this perfect, safe, disease free world. Good Lord, what a ridiculous idea!

Of course my reflecting on germs is more ethereal than physical. Of the five dictionary definitions above, only the first one seems at all risky because it talks about disease-producing microorganisms. More about that in a minute, but the other four definitions are all wonderful: a bud, offshoot, or seed, an embryo! The one I like the best is # 5, something that serves as a source or initial stage for subsequent development, the germ of an idea. Sounds to me like germs are the essential ingredient that allows us to move forward, both as individuals and as the human family!

But back to the first definition for a minute. What if we think of it as dis-ease producing; i.e. that which disturbs our sense of confident assurance? Isn’t that a good thing? Don’t we need to have our easy, self-satisfying, comfortable assumptions challenged? Isn’t that what leads to all great inventions or social human developments?

Having spent the last couple of days trying to cough up phlegm from some virus or other that took up residence in my lungs, I think even the dark side of germs can have benefits. For instance, I got to take two days off to take naps and read books, I learned to be more humble about my usual good health, and if it doesn’t kill me, hopefully even this will make me stronger. (Okay, maybe it will/maybe it won’t.) But even if it killed me, who knows where that might lead? Could be a great thing, right? So, had any great germ-ideas lately?

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