Immunization

Immunity is testimony to the incredible nature of our body to adapt and prepare for crisis. A tiny measure of weak, microscopic organisms injected into our bloodstream is enough for our body to be completely immune against a deadly disease.

With immunization two factors stand out. Firstly, even an attenuated version of a crisis is enough to build immunity against the same crisis in full strength. Secondly, immunization is widely applicable beyond the world of diseases and microbes.

A fire-drill serves as immunization against several disasters that require people to keep calm and do the right thing. One fact that stood out even as the twin towers of the World Trade Center came crumbling down was how well trained firefighters saved thousands of lives amidst that tragedy.

Mountaineers routinely acclimatize for a high altitude climb by letting their bodies get used to lower levels of oxygen in the air. Just a few days of acclimatization allows them to climb the tallest Himalayan peaks.

Stoic philosophers practiced austerity to abolish their fear of becoming poor. They periodically ate the simplest food, wore tattered clothes and lived the lives of a slave. This allowed them to speak their minds and be true to their ideals. When they were exiled to poverty, they accepted with a smile and often refused to return.

What is the crisis that you fear most in your life? How can you design a vaccine that can make you immune to it?

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