Penicillin and plastic bags help a lot, fridges and hot water make manliness more comfortable and Tom Ford's fragrance range makes it smell better, but the idea that has pushed our lives into the light more than any other -ism or -ology is feminism.
And this is one of the major questions of our lives: how we keep boundaries, what permission we have to cross boundaries, and how we do so.
When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.
My mother's belief in spiritual healers grew stronger after our family went through a rough patch following my father's death. Sufi saint Karimullah Shah Kadri changed our lives, and all of us converted to Sufism. But it wasn't an instantaneous decision - it took us 10 years to convert. The change in religion was like washing away the past.
Both for my wife and myself, the personal friendships that have grown out of scientific contacts with colleagues from many different countries have been an important part of our lives, and the travels we have made together in connection with the world-wide scientific co-operation have given us rich treasures of experiences.
The possibilities for creation and insight are endless. We're constantly collecting more data, and it's starting to be very relevant to our lives.
There are big tournaments going on around the world, and some of them you cannot ignore because, financially, they make a huge difference in our lives.
Cancer is something that, tragically, affects almost all of our lives.
Museums are interesting. This place where we're almost buying admission to take a break from our lives.
We all have thoughts and feelings that we believe are fundamental to our lives but that are better left unspoken.