Perhaps the most important thing we all need to know about Deoxyribonucleic Acid, more simply known as DNA, is that the genetic makeup of all homo sapiens is 99.9% identical.
It means that the DNA code making up of billions of letters consisting of A, T, G, and C (Adenosine, Thymine, Guanine, and Cytosine—I still remember these from high school), only 1 letter out of every 12,000 is different (according to research). Think of it as a binary code, that instead of a pool of 1’s and 0’s, our genetic code is composed of millions of A’s, G’s, T’s, and C’s.
It means that every single human being on this planet are the same, 99.9% of the time.
It means that you and I, the people sleeping on the streets, that person millions of miles on the other side of your world from where you are sitting right now, your next door neighbor, your family, criminals and celebrities, leaders and lepers, the albinos and the autistic, friends and foes, all share the exact same genetic makeup as you. Well, almost.
What’s amazing is, we spend the rest of our lives focusing on that remaining 0.1% difference with each other. That 0.1% that form our distinct qualities that make us different from you and me overshadows the 99.9%. All the time.
Whoever said there was strength in numbers?
The genetic traits that make us different are gender, skin color, hair color, predisposition to sweet things, myopia, shyness, addictive personalities, and hundreds of other little things that make each person different from the other—even identical twins (triplets, septuplets, whatever).
What makes us similar, then? They are the emotions we feel—fear, happiness, love, hatred, sadness, faith, frustration, shame, anger, inner peace, relief, excitement, enthusiasm… That each of us have a steadfast, persistent heart inside our rib cages, pumping away, pushing forth the flow of life. That each of our naked bodies are made up of the intricate reactions, bonds, and mixtures of a few basic chemical elements, majority of which are carbon (18%), oxygen (65%), nitrogen (3%), calcium (1.5%), hydrogen (10%), and phosphorous (1.2%).
That in between our ears, inside the white porcelain of our skulls, lies the most powerful computer in the world, capable of capturing vivid memories, verbatim lines from our favorite movies, creating fantasy worlds, inventing Tumblr and Twitter, dreaming of flying elephants and purple skies, thinking about the metaphysical, making up complicated mathematical formulas and symbolic languages, comprehending the size of the universe beyond the borders of our earthly planet.
While some things, like beauty, law, values, religion, and class are relative, emotions and the strength of the human spirit are universal. The human body, no matter what shape, color, size, or weight—it is still God’s greatest masterpiece.
It’s interesting to think that we are all overwhelmingly different from each other and at the same time, strikingly similar. It’s funny to think that we argue and fight because we share differing opinions, that one can learn to hate the color pink (that’s me, sometimes), that one likes fashion while others do not understand it, that one paints the world with colors and words while others heal the world through science and medicine.
Gosh. Thinking about this makes me want to study Psychology, Physiology, Genetics, the Human Anatomy. That is, aside from Literature, Art, Languages.
Can anybody remind me why I am taking up a management major again? *blinks*