San Francisco Bay Area resident Patrick Totty writes about his experiences living with type 2 diabetesSee all posts »
Resistance Is Not Futile!
A few years ago the History Channel produced a TV series called “Life After People,” a look at how earth and its creatures would change if humans suddenly disappeared.
One of the things that I soon noticed in each episode was how quickly plants and water began eroding and destroying everything people had made. The hermetically sealed insides of gleaming skyscrapers were soon pried open by water and ice, then invaded by plants and vines, and eventually colonized by rodents and birds of prey.
Of course this wouldn’t have happened if humans had still been around. Armies of janitors, window washers, painters, plumbers, glaziers, and office workers would have kept weather and plants at bay.
“Life After people” made me realize that what we humans are what I call “anti-entropyists.” We constantly work against entropy, which is the tendency for all complex systems to become disorganized when they are cut off from the source of energy that allows them to maintain their complexity.
I think we type 2s may be the ultimate anti-entropyists. More than most people, we understand that systems can break down. Our own need to constantly manage a flaw that ultimately can do great damage to us gives us a deep insight into our own human nature.
That nature is to resist decay and disorganization. When something happens in our bodies that makes it impossible for them to ever again self-regulate their blood sugar levels, we don’t sit back and philosophically observe, “Well, that’s just nature taking its course.” Hell, no. We fight back with everything we can. We apply the tools of anti-entropy because we’re not going to let our gleaming skyscrapers submit to the forces of nature just yet.
Years ago in a game arcade in Poway, California, my 9-year-old and I filled a plastic pail with quarters and went to play a game of Terminators. The game, based on the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of robots run amok and trying to kill all humans, was one where you could hold them off as long as you had ammunition. Obviously, at some point my son and I were going to run out of quarters and the never-ending columns of bad-boy machines would finally overwhelm us. But until we did, what a hoot it was to stand side by side taking down those ugly metal critters.
In the real world, fortunately, our plastic pails are very wide and deep. Our “quarters”—drugs, good foods, and beneficial exercises—allow us to stand and fight for a long time. The struggle sometimes gets tedious and downbeat, but there is that great human sense of accomplishment that comes from resisting entropy.
Resistance is not futile. It’s what we do.