More than zero

Despite all that’s going on in the world right now — the births, the car smashups, the business startups, the deaths — I face two realities all the time:

  1. The quickly decreasing number of Earth days until we have a permanent Martian colony by 6th May 2050, and
  2. Every ten days out of fourteen, I devote myself wholeheartedly to the business of saving lives with blood products.

In a way, nothing else matters, but then everything matters because our planet is intertwined with the two realities above in everything we do here below, even if we are completely unaware how, why and when.

Therefore, I am rewarded everyday when I wake up, able to look back at the life/lives I’ve led (having written many books about my separate lives and those who’ve shared theirs with me) and realise how fortunate I am to be here right now.

Meanwhile, the International Space Station celebrates 15 years of continuous operation, the Antarctic is adding ice faster than it is losing it, dirty rocks (asteroids/comets/planets) bounce around the solar system and I face the prospect of sleep next to my wife, with a cat snoozing between my feet and then tomorrow a Sun-filled day of blood product pickup and delivery.

In this day and age of instant ostracising by social media, I hope some of us keep our heads straight while focusing on the big picture and longrange planning, oblivious to the winds and whims of popular culture movements that blend into forgotten history like summer grass that become humus which feeds centuries-old trees.

You see, it’s like this:

I don’t know which life I’m saving today that will lead to the first child born on another planet.

That’s the strange paradox about the healthcare industry.

I want to know which life is more important than another but I never will with absolute certainty.  Sure, some lives will have more prominence than others.  Many of us will be forgotten before we die.

However, all of us were pebbles of one sort or another thrown into the pond of life — our ripples create patterns that may take generations to create a full effect — for instance, your great-great-great grandfather is just now having an effect on this society because of you.  Your grandniece will create a new industry that no one has yet imagined.

That’s why I enjoy what I do, why I’m willing to sweep and mop our lab floor, drive a car for hours, handsort bags of RBCs (red blood cells) over and over again.

Every life is important.

Every headache, every sore neck muscle, every tired shuffle back home is worth the effort of saving lives one by one.

All because I want us to spread life as we know it farther and further into the galaxy, starting with the electronic tentacles we call satellites launched into space, followed slowly but surely by us and whatever we’ll be in the centuries ahead.

Good night, all.  Papier the Cat says it’s time for bed!

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