A Tribute to the Common Germ
by James Snyder
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I recently heard a report suggesting that an absolutely sterile world would not be a healthy world. According to the report, some germs play an important part in maintaining a healthy environment. The report did not identify those healthy germs.
What I want to know is where these people were when my mother was leading a no holds barred crusade against germs? I could have used some support back in “the day.”
As I remember it, my mother hated germs with a passion unequal to any other passion. She was living for the time when every germ would be eradicated from the planet. If not the planet than her home. Nobody knows the fear that pervades a young boy (me in particular) caught between his mother and a germ.
Although in many regards, mothers are all wise, this is one area where they fail miserably. The average mother does not appreciate the role the humble little germ plays in the development of a young boy.
Every time I turned around my mother was always telling me to, "Wash your hands, young man." And, "Did you wash your hands before you came to the table?"
It is truly amazing I have any hands left for all of the vigorous washing they had to go through.
I often would complain, "But, mother my hands are not dirty." And in my defense, from my perspective they were not dirty. In my learned opinion I believe other people, mothers in particular, should respect other people’s, their sons for example, opinion. After all, it is only common courtesy.
Completely disrespecting my opinion, my mother would respond by saying, "Your hands are full of germs."
I looked at my hands and I could never find a germ. In fact, I did not know what a germ looked like. I once asked my mother what germs looked like and all she said was, "They are disgusting and I won't have them in my home. Now go wash your hands."
As far as my mother was concerned, she never saw a germ she liked. I often admired her powers of sight to see something so minuscule that my eyes could never find. I often compared her to Superman with his x-ray vision.
Getting back to this report on germs, I am glad to find somebody that would say something nice about the common germ. The reason they are called the common germ is that they are so common. And anything that is so common should have some kind of benefit to society. Just don't ask my mother.
It seems to me that many people have a biased attitude against germs. And it is simply because rumors have been spreading like wild fire by mothers that has completely devastated the germ’s reputation. Personally, I do not think this is fair. There are always two sides to an issue and it is about time somebody stood up for the side of germs.
This may point out the difference between men and women. As a man, I possess an enormous tolerance for germs. All day long, I get along quite famously with them. When I come home for supper the first thing my wife says to me is, "Go wash your hands and get ready for supper."
Another problem I have here is that very few people have actually seen a germ. Nobody I know could give a fair description of a germ. If a germ would rob a bank, nobody would be able to give a description that the police could use to capture the robber.
Few people have ever seen a germ and yet they believe in them. If you would question why they believe in something they have never seen they might get mad at you and walk the other way. Or, if they are mothers they might say, "They are disgusting; now go wash your hands."
Then there might be some who would bring this argument to the table (I hope they washed their hands). "I have never seen a germ but I have seen the effect of germs. All the sickness in the world is a result of these germs."
According to this argument, germs carry bacteria, fungi and other things harmful to human health. But what I want to know is why they are blaming all of this on something they have never seen?
Have they never heard the saying, "Out of sight out of mind?" If you cannot see something, measure it and weigh it, how do you know it really exists?
People will believe in germs they have never seen and call it normal. But, when somebody says, "I believe in God," people object and say, "How in the world can you believe in someone you've never seen." They make their argument against believing in God by saying they have never seen God.
This reminds me of one of the disciples named Thomas.
"The other disciples therefore said unto him [Thomas], We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25 KJV).
"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29 KJV).
Sometimes, believing is seeing.
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I loved this article. We do have an immune system to guard us against germs. When I was a child, we did not even think about germs...we just lived life. My brothers and I played in the dirt, mud or whatever was around, Yes, we washed our hands before eating. That was a different time and place. At almost 80 yrs young I am amazed at all the fear of germs that has come forth. My goodness, forget about germs, wash and clean as needed, but enjoy your life (this is to all, not to you personally). You know....we do have authority over germs. GOD BLESS YOU
Please do not think I overlooked the last part of your article regarding believing and seeing. You are so right. For those who say "I won't believe if I can't see"....reminds me to ask if they have a brain...have you seen your brain?...If you cannot see it, how do you know you have one?....This really makes them think. I so enjoy your writings.