Seriously Now!

One of the interesting things about human life is how seriously each one of us takes ourselves. My life and that of those close to me, friends and relatives, are the closest things to my heart. We disagree as well as agree. We think we are the most important things in the world. We like each other and get along mostly because we are alike in some way(s).

There are people we don’t care for, individuals as well as groups. As for individuals, we know from direct experience why we don’t like each other. As for groups, we sometimes absorb the attitudes of family and friends (and TV). To me, the whole business of social relationships is a mess we try to intellectually understand and don’t quite make it. Why people who grow up in groups with particular attitudes can’t abide people with different attitudes is something whole university degree programs are built around (to little effect).

In recent years, there has been more public information about the development of the human species. Through finding ancient bones, we know now that the human (as we are) species has come from more
“primitive” bodies and brains to what we are now. We regard this as progress. In a recent New York Times there is an article about an ancient set of bones found in Britain, labeled Cheddar Man. A hole was drilled in its skull, its DNA was examined, identified and tied to a living Englishman, Adrian Targett who is related to Cheddar Man on his mother’s side. How’s that for family history?

What we will never know is whether the attitudes he exhibited toward others of his kind were like ours: “he wants to be our leader but I think he stinks” (metaphorically). Have our political attitudes advanced or would he feel right at home with what we have in Washington?

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