One morning, Bob noticed that a small area on his left arm was sore. Looking at the area, he saw that a small cut that he had recently received had gotten infected. Bob thought this was unusual, because he’d had small cuts countless times before without ever getting an infection. All of his minor cuts had healed nicely without any problem.

The next day, Bob realized that the infection was getting worse. Bob hardly ever needed to use medication before, but he figured that he needed to stop this infection somehow. So he went off to the pharmacy to pick up some medication.

On the way to the pharmacy, Bob heard a tiny voice from inside himself saying: “That’s OK. We accept you as you are.” Quite perplexed, Bob asked: “Who said that?” The tiny voice answered: “Oh, that was me – your immune system.” “And… who were you talking to?” Bob asked again. Bob’s immune system replied: “The infection you have.”

Bob knew full well that he was not imagining this, and he hadn’t drunk or smoked anything at all, but he just couldn’t believe it. Yet, he continued to ask his immune system some more questions.

“So, you’re telling the infection that it’s OK, and that you accept it as it is?” asked Bob. His immune system replied: “That’s right. This infection has a right to exist in your body, just like the rest of us.” “Us being…” queried Bob. “All of the organs and tissues in your body” answered Bob’s immune system.

“Isn’t it your job to fight infections?” asked Bob. The immune system replied “Well, we don’t think that way anymore. We understand that God loves everyone, and that Jesus died on the cross for everyone. So we have to accept everyone unconditionally no matter what.”

“So, you’re not going to do anything about this infection?” asked Bob. The immune system replied “You see, Bob, we all have to live in peace and harmony with each other. And that means accepting everyone without any judgment and loving everyone.”

Bob wasn’t sure what to think anymore at this point, so he decided to just drop it for the time being. He picked up his medication and some band-aids at the pharmacy, and figured that that would solve his problem.

Over the next week, the infection spread over a much larger area, and was getting more and more painful, despite Bob’s treatment. So Bob decided to go see a doctor, even though he wasn’t a big fan of the Big Pharma fare that a doctor would probably prescribe. But before he left, Bob heard the tiny voice again: “Yeah, we know. He just can’t accept you like we do.”

At this point, Bob got angry. “Okay, that’s enough!” yelled Bob. To this, Bob’s immune system promptly replied: “If you don’t bring your voice down, I’m calling the police.”

Bob was astounded, but he tried to explain his position, in the hope that his immune system might understand. “Don’t you see that the infection keeps spreading faster and faster? If it keeps on going like this, I’ll lose my arm. And eventually this infection might even kill me… and you too, I might add!”

Bob’s immune system replied: “You haters are always such alarmists! Look at this poor, little infection. He’s not doing anything wrong! He just needs a place to live and to be treated with respect and decency.”

Bob responded: “You can’t just look at an infection for a moment and conclude that it’s not dangerous. This infection intends to destroy, and that’s exactly what it’s doing! Stop being so damned absurd!”

Bob’s immune system replied: “Bob, you’re not being reasonable. You simply can’t prove any of the allegations that you’re making. Why are you being so hateful towards this poor infection?”

Bob refused to continue this insane discussion. He got into his car and rushed to the nearest clinic. The doctor examined his infection, and prescribed some expensive Big Pharma fare for him to take.

As he took his pills that evening, Bob heard the tiny voice say to him: “So, you really are going to take those drugs then.” Bob replied: “Absolutely!” “Fine!” replied Bob’s immune system, “I guess you don’t need me.”

Bob was beside himself: “What!!! You have been telling me that you weren’t going to do anything to fight the infection. You have allowed the infection to become a serious danger to my health. You are practically useless to me!”

“So, you’re telling me that I have to do something in order to earn your esteem – that I have to be of some use to you in order to be considered worthy. Is that what you’re telling me?” replied Bob’s immune system. Bob rejoined: “You’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, and you’re allowing a disaster to develop. How can I not consider you worthless?”

Oddly enough, Bob’s immune system fell silent at this point. In fact, Bob wasn’t even sure that it was still there. Over the next few days, new infections suddenly appeared – in his ears, in his eyes, in his mouth. Bob became more and more worried. He was still taking his prescription, but it didn’t seem to be doing anything.

Eventually, Bob realized that he had been defeated. The infections soon spread to his vital organs – his heart, his lungs, even his brain. As Bob lay in his bed dying, reeling from the pain and resigned to his awful fate, among many crazed thoughts he thought to himself: “Maybe things wouldn’t have gone this far if only I had been more accepting of that poor, little infection. Why didn’t I just love my disease in the first place?”