One apple can affect whole barrel

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 6, 2008

I was once fortunate enough to spend some time with the guy who developed the antibiotic Cephalosporin for Eli Lilly.

His name was Dr. Carl Godzeski. He had earned a doctorate in microbiology and a doctorate in biochemistry — a brilliant man.

I, a country boy from Natchez, sat in awe at the feet of Socrates. One of his lessons was that antibiotics do not kill all invading microorganisms. Statistically there will be a few that will survive the treatment. The patient’s immune system ultimately destroys this final few.

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In a scenario such as AIDS, and other conditions of immune suppression, the body does not have the ability, at times, to kill these final few organisms. Now, bacteria will arise that can survive a particular antibiotic and can move into the general population. We see instances of this in reports of MRSA, antibiotic-resistant TB, etc. Immune suppression is not the sole cause for the development of these man-eaters, but it is a contributing factor that could have possibly been prevented.

A sponge is a living animal. It is composed of many different kinds of cells; each specialized to do certain functions within the whole of the sponge. What happens to one cell has an impact on all of the other cells and may be detrimental to them all. The entire human race is similar to the sponge in that there are many different kinds of people, specialized to do certain things and all of these people are dependent on the integrity of the others. The human race is then a single, gigantic, organism.

What I am attempting to point out is that one person’s behavior affects everyone. If someone is cavorting, without protection, with a group who is statistically more prone to contract AIDS, then it is irresponsible to all of us that they do so. If a crime is committed on one, it is committed on all. If a person knows the criminal that committed a crime, then it is his responsibility to all of us that he reports it. If a parent does not supervise their children to see that they are educated in academics as well as social behavior, then they are doing an injustice to all of us by not doing so.

There are many cases of one man’s injustice to another that could go on for days. There are many among us who say, “He hasn’t hurt me, I don’t care what he does.” This, to me, is one of the worst injustices being done to all of us.

I have been criticized for being aggressive and opinionated. I am proud that I am aggressive and opinionated. If you know of an injustice being done to us, don’t be afraid, take a stand. What this entire world needs are more people who will stand up for themselves and others around them.

Ed Field