"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Wednesday 19 January 2011

To Be Human

Demonstrating what it means to be a human being is not something we think about regularly, unless you are special (like me). We all know what special means, don't we? :)

This one might seem a bit 'preachy' so please forgive me. It's my blog, and the only 'trans' thing on my mind today is 'transformation' of the way we act toward each other, and that means me too.

Dave Marinaccio wrote a book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek". My copy seems to have been borrowed, or lost. At any rate, it was a good read, and I definitely subscribe to that sentiment in the title. This television program of the 1960's took us into situations that were often illuminating of the human condition. Those who loved the program and its many reincarnations will have there own examples, which I will enjoy reading in the comment section if you would care to share them, but I digress.

In one episode, Kirk finds himself in the position of having to justify humanities' cruelties of the past. He is a 'civilized' version of humanity, because, as he says, and I paraphrase "we can decide that today we will not fight each other. We could hate the person we do not understand, but we decide, that, today, we will be loving and accepting."

It is important to acknowledge that in our gene pool there are survival techniques that are no longer appropriate for a modern civilized humanity. Inviting a stranger into your camp was not necessarily a good idea when we were hunter-gatherers and food was scarce. Our ancestors learned to overcome that prejudice and a new tradition was created; hospitality, a value entrenched in most mainstream religions.

That same prejudice against the 'stranger' persists however in various incarnations. It is we and they, over and over. As a theme of repression and ignorance it persists. Today it manifests in so many ways that as a race we should be ashamed, and yet, seemingly intelligent people will stand on street corners, radio and television programs and on the 'net and spew hatred at those who are not like them. Seemingly caring people will refused to listen to another's point of view, choosing to turn to name calling to justify their own inability to be truly human. Many will even imagine that their 'God of Love' is telling them to do these hateful things. They will do this in spite of the teachings in the holy writings of their religion to love the 'stranger'.


We have a choice every day. We need to consciously make that choice daily to not fight each other, to find a way to be a good example of humanity, even when we don't think someone is watching.

I intend to find ways to be human every day for the rest of my life.


  1. Yes, very well said, Halle. We need to concentrate more on the things we have in common, than on the things that divide us. Unfortunately some people are so invested in the things that divide us, that they won't even admit to any common ground.

    If you are familiar with politics in the US, then you know how polarized this country has become. Even though there are no seating restrictions during the president's state of the union address, Democrats would all sit on one side of the chamber, and Republicans would all sit on the other side, the center aisle serving as a moat between the two parties. Feeling well insulated from each other, members felt freer to act out their contempt for anything in the president's speech that disagreed with their position. So you had the sorry spectacle of one side of the chamber applauding a point, while the other side sat scowl faced, shaking their heads in silence. Last year one representative even shouted out, "You're a liar!" to the president.

    This year, inspired by the tragic shooting of the congresswoman from Arizona, many members of congress are saying that they will abandon the tradition of segregating by party, and in a spirit of goodwill, cross the aisle to sit with members of the opposition. I don't know if many will do it, but if even a few do, it will be a lovely sight to see.

    Melissa XX

  2. Sometimes good comes out of tragedy. Let us hope so. Politicians need to be able to work together and listen to each other; sadly it rarely works that way these days.

  3. Sadly, I have to agree with you. Halle. Just today, democrats in The House spewed their hatred and vitriol by likening Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare to Goebbles and his Nazi propaganda machine. Yes. He used that word and even alluded to the Holocast. So much for joining hands and "cumbaya".

  4. Perhaps that was because less than 36% of the electorate wanted the Healthcare Bill repealed. Hubris I'm afraid, will once again be the downfall of the new congress. America wants bipartisanship, not the toxic politics of the right against the left.