Humanity Man: Smile

Well, hello there, my fellow zombies, we’re truly happy you could join us again.

  How have your lessons been progressing? For you rookie zombies and others with memory troubles, your first two lessons were:

  1. Be peaceful, and…

  2. Question everything.

  If you are succeeding at those two lessons, we thank you on behalf of ourselves and all of our fellow zombies. Our world is already improving because of your efforts.

  Now, before we get to lesson three, we’d like to ask how you’re doing with figuring out what makes you tick. We understand queries like that can be tough, especially during the summertime. Our minds are occupied enough with the sunshine, the lake, cold beer, and the BBQ. Do we have any room left up there to ponder philosophical questions? Apparently we do, as our answer to what makes us tick is this: cells and smiles, my fellow zombies, cells and smiles. (We need cells or our body won’t tick, and smiles, well, let’s read on, shall we?)

  On top of that being our answer, both cells and smiles segue nicely into our next lesson, as well. The lesson is this: smile more. Pretty simple, eh? Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be that easy, judging by the sour looks we see on many of our fellow zombie’s faces, especially while driving or in grocery store line-ups.

  The reason to smile more is much more important than merely cheering the scenery as we drive to the store to pick up that all important pre-packaged food stuff full of sugar, sodium, arsenic, etc. The reason is more important than any of us realize. Let me explain. (I’m going to dumb this down a bit, my dear zombie, not for you, but for me, as scientific jargon and myself go together as well as open, thoughtful minds and the federal Conservative Party do.)

 So, in the proverbial clamshell, smiling more often helps us like this:

Every single one of our cells have these things called receptors, to which  ligands attach. Many small molecules can act as ligands, including hormones, neurotransmitters and peptides, which are short proteins.

  Peptides are produced in the brain in response to any emotion you feel; there are “happy” peptides and “angry” peptides and “depressed” peptides. The peptides’ job is to go and visit every single one of our body’s cells. These peptides are like VIPs; when they land on a cell’s receptors, they take control of some of that cell’s actions.

  It’s believed that when a new cell is produced, it isn’t an exact clone of the old cell; it’s close, but not exact. So, for example, if the old cell received peptides caused by angry thoughts, the new cell will have more receptors for angry peptides, but there still will be some receptors for happy peptides, as well.

  Now, it’s estimated that 300 million cell divisions happen every minute to replace the old cells that die. In fact, each day two percent of our cells die and are replaced by new cells. You know where this is going, right? Hold on for a little bit more, though. This gets even cooler.

  To put all this cell replacement into perspective, if you’ve felt sad for four hours, you’ve produced 72 billion new cells that are more sensitive to depression-type peptides. In essence, these new cells are creating a body that is more able to feel depression than joy.

  With your body making itself an entirely new blood supply every two months or so, it doesn’t take long for your body to become addicted to those unhappy peptides. Hence, you must think unhappy thoughts to produce what your body now needs. Wild stuff, eh? Don’t despair, though, go back to the lesson.

  If you can become depressed that quickly, you can become happy in that same time frame. So take the first step: smile more. Smiling makes you and others around you happier. Those smiles will transform into better thoughts, which will produce happier peptides, which will visit your cells…I won’t go through the entire chain of events a second time. I think you get the (hopefully happy) picture.

  Smile more, my fellow zombies, and I will smile along with you. Until next time, Humanity Man bids you many happy thoughts.

Humanity Man resides on this beautiful planet called Gaia. He likes peace, happiness, and a cold beer at a summer BBQ. He dislikes war, anger and unhappy thoughts. He also welcomes any comments or ideas.