The No Cry Challenge

When I was in college, my roommate at the time introduced me to a challenge that was being spread around Reddit.  It was called the No Cry 19 Challenge. It was a playlist of videos that was guaranteed to make people cry. They weren’t all sad, though many were, but were just extreme from an emotional sense.  Extremely sad, extremely happy, and just a whole range of emotions. The comments were fun to look at as you saw a wide range of individuals detailing out how far they made it, with many falling off within the first ten videos.

The challenge was fun but it also made me realize two ideas.  The first, is that it’s a universal thing to need to cry, and through empathy we’re able to share in those emotions other have.  This sounds super philosophical, like some hoity-toity shit, but the fact of the matter is that it is one of the most human things to cry.  Many other animals don’t even have tear ducts that enable them to do so. It’s been shown that elephants can grieve but they still cannot physically cry like we do.  Humans are able to express in such an extreme physical manner what we feel emotionally.  That shit’s ours. We own it.

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The Worth of One or Many

“…All I’m saying is, the guy has the literal cure for cancer in his body and he’s decided he won’t share with the rest of the world.”

“Brain cancer, Jim.  He has the cure for one cancer.  And it’s one that we’re making a lot of progress in obtaining without whatever unique ability his brain has.  We’re not even sure if we could harness that trait. If you remember, the attempts at synthesizing crocodiles’ unique cell defenses failed, even though we truly thought we had that.”

“Exactly my point.  We’ve made progress, Clara, progress.  Nothing more. We don’t know when we might independently find a cure.  But we have the cure right here! Something that could lead to even more discoveries.  Why should we put his life over the lives of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands that would die before we finally crack this puzzle?  What would you have him do, Clara? If it was your loved one with this terrible disease?”

“Are you seriously suggesting that this young man kill himself, Jim?”

“Maybe I am, Clara.  Maybe I am.”

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