It’s All Mental

I ran into a great article in the USA Today this morning that had an interesting little nugget of scientific information: There is no cure for the common cold. This may not be a big surprise to some of you, and it really isn’t for me. It goes right along with an opinion that I’ve had for awhile now.

One of my two favorite sayings from this summer in Ireland was “It’s all mental.” The other was “Builds character.” A typical exchange would go as follows:

Friend: “I can’t go out tonight I’m sick”.

Me: “No you’re not. That’s all mental.”

Friend: “No I literally feel like death.”

Me: “Just go out it builds character.”

I haven’t missed a day of school for sickness in over 5 years. Before that it was only about two days a year tops. I’ve never called in sick to work. I know people that didn’t miss a day of school for sickness their whole 13 years of elementary through high school. Are we just elite? Do our immune systems just kill everything the world has to offer? I really don’t think so. If I did, then I would be an egotistic prick and I’m not. I really truly think that if you don’t allow yourself to be sick than you won’t be sick.

Now wait just a second before you x-out of this window and think that I’m a nut. I know there are viruses, bacteria, and all that junk out there. I get cancer, appendicitis, and all that real serious stuff. I acknowledge that, don’t worry. I’m talking about the common cold, the sniffles, the sore throat, the cough, and the sneezing. Those actions may exist, but I think if you mentally don’t allow them to take over your day than you aren’t allowing them to exist.

I’ve lived in dorms and frat houses. I’m around viruses that probably haven’t even been named yet (old beeritis?). I maybe have gotten those sniffles and a sore throat once a semester, but I don’t care. I go to class. I go to work. I go out. I go to… okay that’s about all I do. Some days are easy to get through and some days aren’t. Just live your life without letting these microscopic germs affect you.

Some people have this huge fear of germs that I think is kind of pathetic. I agree with everything the late great George Carlin said:

We’ve all heard those random facts about germs. There is more germs on the average doorknob than the average toilet. Handling money is dirtier than handling poop. Germs are all around us. Don’t avoid them, embrace them and use them to make you stronger so you can go to school, work, and out.

So eat food off the floor, sneeze on your friends, ignore those germ-x bottles and dispensers that the university put around every corner, don’t wash your hands after using the bathroom (you’re saving water and paper too for you hipsters). Build up your immune system and build up your character.

Like it or not (you probably don’t) this is what I think I think.

Guest quote from Max Powell: “The only defense to the common cold is not allowing yourself to think that you have one.”


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