My daughter asked me the other day,’What does human mean?’
I replied, ‘All people , like you and me, are called human beings. Anyone that is not an animal, is a human being’
I believe that one of the greatest things about being human is the freedom of choice. The choice to believe or do whatever one wants to, so long as it does not break the laws of the land in which the person is in at the time.
I am omnivorous, although I lean more towards the fleshy rather than the leafy side. As a result, my children are omnivorous too. No vegetarians or vegans or in-betweens in my household. I remember a colleague of mine from the distant past who had a ten year old son who was vegetarian. She and her husband were not, but her son had decided that he was, after he made the shocking discovery that fluffy yellow chicks grew up into the plump brown hens that then mutated into the chicken nuggets on his plate. She respected his right, and made vegetarian meals for him, except when it came to bolognese. She used real minced meat in her bolognese, hid the packaging deep in the trash can, and then told him that she had used a vegetarian meat substitute. So even though he believed he was a vegetarian, he wasn’t. I wonder if he ever found out. And what he did to her if he did find out. Because this child, this sought after son who had been conceived through IVF, used to hit his mother. And she tolerated it, as was her right, came to work and showed us her bruises. Yes, I kid you not.
This country I live in is all about the rights of others. Villains have the right to break into the houses of law abiding citizens, but the said citizen does not have the right to hurt the villain in any way in the defence of his property.
I believe one way streets are designed that way for a purpose, to prevent chaos. Traffic is allowed to enter in one direction, and exit from the other. Like food, in our digestive system. Some people do not share my belief, and so they break traffic, and other laws.
I believe I can fly, but you won’t catch me strapping on wings like Icarus. I will buy my ticket, and go on the world’s favourite airline. (This is not directly relevant to this post, but I felt like putting it in. It is my right)
Some people believe they are the descendants of primates. Chimpanzees, I think. I respect their right to believe that their relatives are living out in the wild. Their right to believe that they are “animals in human skin”, to quote Fela. And if they decide to return to their roots and get in touch with nature by relocating to the trees, I will continue to respect their right, so long as they don’t expect me to join them.
So when my daughter told me yesterday that humans used to be monkeys, I told her that was wrong. I said some humans believe that they came from monkeys, but that me and her were created by God. Because that is what I believe. As is my right.