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Of Choices

I attended a boarding secondary school in South West Nigeria. During one of the summer holidays out of curiosity and love for domesticating pets I remember purchasing  albino mice (male and female). I endured the long journey home as  I lived in another far-away state and took them with me. I got home happy and relieved at the same time they survived the journey. I began rearing the mice and soon before school resumed they began procreating and the numbers grew. By the time I returned home next holiday break the numbers of the mice had grown such that there wasn't enough space to accommodate the numbers and funny enough I couldn't eat them! I decided finally to kill them and throw them away as I couldn't eat or sell them and couldn't keep pace with the growing numbers.  For those who don't know, their gestation period is between 19-21 days and they give birth to a litter of 3-14 young (average of 6-8). One female can have  litters of 5-10 per year so the mice population can increase very quickly.

All life forms strive to the maximum of it's potential except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. You will never hear of a tree growing half of high as it possibly could. Trees don't grow half. A tree drives it root as deep as it can, produces as many branches as it can, as many leaves as it can. Sows (female pig) will give birth to as many piglets as it can. Could be 24 piglets or more in a year. Every life form strive to the maximum except human beings. Why not human beings? You have been given the dignity of choice!

In January 2018 two monkeys were successfully cloned using the technique that produced Dolly the Sheep. Identical long-tailed macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were born at a laboratory in China. Scientists say populations of monkeys that are genetically identical will be useful for research into human diseases. But critics say the work raises ethical concerns by bringing the world closer to human cloning. Prior to this breakthrough Dolly the Sheep made history in 1996 after being cloned in Edinburgh. It was the first time scientists had been able to clone a mammal from an adult cell, taken from the udder. Since then many other mammals have been cloned using the same technique including cattle, pigs, dogs cats, mice and rats. Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua however are the first non-human primates cloned through this technique. This breakthrough was achieved after 79 attempts.

In April 2018 it was announced that the world's first successful total penis and scrotum transplant was completed at Johns Hopkins Hospital Maryland USA on March 26. The procedure lasted 14 hours and involved nine plastic surgeons, two urological surgeons and a team of anesthesiologists, nurses and surgical technicians. The transplant recipient who preferred staying anonymous is a young US Serviceman who sustained injuries to his lower pelvis, lower abdominal wall and lower extremities in an IED explosion while serving country in Afghanistan. The transplant team had to obtain the necessary tissues -- consisting of a penis, scrotum and part of the lower abdominal wall from a deceased donor. In 2014 the first successful penis transplant was performed in South Africa by a team of physicians at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. But the current case is the first to include transplantation of the scrotum and parts of the lower abdominal wall.

I shared the above scientific breakthroughs to buttress a point. A casual observer upon reading about the above might ask: Does God really exist? Whatever scientific feat man accomplishes cannot negate God. The intelligence of man can be likened to that of a mold growing on an Apple. For over a decade between the time I was a teenager until my mid twenties I had a major struggle about the existence of God even though I was raised in a highly religious family! This struggle came about as a result of a number of factors, one major one was my curiosity. During that period I oscillated between free thinking , agnosticism , paganism to Yoruba Traditional Religion. I enjoyed reading about Ifa and the Orishas! I always pondered the biblical account of creation and what transpired in the Garden of Eden when Eve gave Adam the forbidden Apple. I would say to myself "Why would God create them both, put them in the Garden with an instruction they shouldn't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and yet from the beginning not know the possible outcome? So why bother? What a God!" I would say . It was until one fateful Sunday when I unusually attended church and my Pastor in his sermon said something I found to be true and have never forgotten till this day : " God created man with his own capacity " I went home meditating on that statement for weeks upon weeks and shortly afterwards was delivered from my struggle.

Choices are so powerful and only we humans have been given this dignity! Whether we believe in God or not is a choice. A goat cannot choose! We make choices every moment. Everything in our lives exists because we made a choice about something . Our lives are simply an accumulation of all the choices we make. But the tragedy is that majority of us make our choices unconsciously! I have also come to realize that the extent at which a society chooses to operate in harmony or conflict with the laws of the universe will determine to a large extent progress or retrogression made. A close look at the developed countries of the world validates my observation. In less than twelve months Nigerians would have another chance to install a new set of leaders. The extent and how well we choose will determine the quality of leaders chosen. It's a given fact that 60% of our entire population are youthful and for the first time in history we have a golden chance to be a major deciding factor in the scheme of things if we can pull our acts together.#justthinking