Are you aware that you are personally responsible for literally trillions of lives? That’s right! Like a zookeeper, you are in charge of tending to the needs of countless animals that rely on you each day. You feed them, water them, and ensure that they receive quality air and exercise. But your zoo isn’t outside of you, rather inside of you. I’m talking about the cells that make up your physical body. These are the little lifeforms that are impacted by every decision you make.
Let me explain.
Your Cellular Zoo
All living things are made of cells, they are the basic units of life. Each individual cell has needs much like our own. They need energy from food, to stay hydrated, to get rid of waste and to know how to live in harmony with their fellow cells.
Each cell is made up of an outer membrane that acts much like our skin. It lets good things in and keeps bad things out. Mitochondria inside of our cells help convert nutrients into energy for the cells to use. They also contain ribosomes, which create proteins that can be used to repair damage. At the core of cells is the nucleus that acts like a brain. The nucleus houses chromosomes that instruct the workings of each cell. The internal elements of the cell, called organelles are floating in a water-based cytoplasm that helps the cell function efficiently as it moves things like hormones and nutrients around. Lysosomes are also found in this cytoplasm and their role is to remove waste materials that that results from cellular metabolism.
As humans, we are made up of TRILLIONS of these tiny little lifeforms. Each one needs water and diverse nutrients to function properly and be healthy. Our trillions of cells depend upon us to provide them the things that they need to stay alive. You are truly responsible for these trillions of little living things!
Maintaining Your Zoo
Just as pets depend on you to take care of them, so too do your cells. In fact, the health and proper functioning of your cells should be a primary consideration in all of your life decisions. The quality of your life experience degrades with the quality of your cellular tissues. Each and every one of your cells needs nutrients for energy, it needs water to stay hydrated, it needs time for recovery and regeneration and it also needs love and care. Each of these cells communicates with each other to coordinate functions throughout our bodies, including telling our brains that we are hungry or thirsty, tired or overworked, sick or healthy.
When you’re thirsty, it’s not just you feeling thirsty, it’s actually a signal coming from your cells that they need some water. If you feel hungry, your cells are communicating to you that they need nutrients to continue producing the energy you need to get through the challenges of your day. When you feel tired or overwhelmed, guess what, your cells are feeling it too and if you’re sick, they’re going to battle for you.
Although our cells tell us what they need, they do so in a way that may not be crystal clear, so you need to listen carefully! As I said in my previous post about the chemicals we need to eat (via macro and micronutrients), our cells also need the same chemicals. Each one of our trillions of cells depends upon what we give them to sustain life. Don’t give your cells shitty chemicals! Don’t overwork your cells either! Care and feed your cells with care so that they can in turn can take care of you! 🙂
When someone asks you who you are, you can say, “I am a collection of 100 trillion cells.” Take care of yourself because you’re more than just “you”. You’re responsible for all of these little lifeforms that form the basis of your physical identity. With the right care and feeding, your personal zoo will survive and thrive while building a better and better version of you. So, how are you doing as a zookeeper?