Monday, August 22, 2016

A Homeostatic World!

ho•me•o•sta•sis

 (ˌhoʊ mi əˈsteɪ sɪs) 

n.

1. the tendency of a system, esp. the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus tending to disturb its normal condition or function.
2. state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced/eliminated.
[1925–30]
ho`me•o•stat′ic (-ˈstæt ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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I first heard the word, 'homeostasis' in my Sophomore biology class. I learned to spell it correctly, to memorize its meaning (#1 above) and to be able to use it properly when referring to the physiological system in higher animals. I was positively certain I completely understood the term, and didn't give it another thought. 
Fast forward to who I am today, a 71 year-old retiree who hopefully has a clearer understanding of what homeostasis (#2) means to me now. I've read the second definition over and over again, and have decided that I could sum up the term in two words, 'sweet peace'.  
When as much stress and anxiety over achieving more has seeped out of your mind and body as is humanly possible, it would be safe to say you are in a homeostatic state and are experiencing sweet peace. To be completely free of stress and anxiety, it would be safe to say you're dead!
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At this stage in my life's journey, I'm consumed with the notion that eventually world peace can be achieved. I have absolute faith in our children and their children that someday through their willingness to embrace diversity rather than fear it, a homeostatic world will be realized. But I want it to happen before my journey's end. And I believe if we concentrated on exposing our youngsters to the differences in people in a positive light, the seeds of sweet peace would be planted, and wouldn't take all that long to grow and blossom to every corner of the earth.
Why is it that difference causes so much consternation in our minds and bodies? Why do negative thoughts pop up at the mere sight of a black man passing us by at night, and why do we become stressed and begin to perspire because of his presence? By no means am I suggesting not to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings, but would our reactions be the same if the passerby were white?
Why is it that we tend to turn away from somebody with a disfigurement or someone confined to a wheel chair? Why do we become noticeably uncomfortable if we are in a situation where we must interact with folks burdened with these and other disabilities?
Why do we shy away from people who speak a different language instead of trying to communicate in other ways?
I think that the answer to all of these questions and a myriad of others that plague us throughout life is a simple one..... lack of exposure at an early age.
If we all make the effort to ensure that ourselves as well as our youngsters meet and interact with others of different race, ethnicity, and cultures at every opportunity, sweet peace is not only possible, one person at a time, but inevitable.
For me, living in a homeostatic world is the #1 priority on my bucket list. Knowing that my children and my grandchildren would be blessed with living in such a world would give me sweet peace and make this one dream come true!
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Remember the key is to expose children when they are very young to diversity. I guarantee you they don't see difference until it is pointed out to them. Fear of that which makes us different is learned. Teach your children to see differences as interesting and beautiful now, and they will grow up to be proponents of world peace! I promise.

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