I believe in humans

I believe in humans – by P.K. Odendaal - August 2017

Inhumanism – my own fabrication of anti-humanism, is rampant in the world and the cancer is spreading epidemically and hyperbolically, despite my article on it:

I never expected the article to be a magic wand, but neither did I expect inhumanism to travel faster than light. In fact, it is nowadays the only way to get some publicity – by strapping a bomb vest onto your body with or without bombs or burning your wife.

But ..., bombing and burning are so provincial and not subtle enough – some form of oppression by the forces of Government or the Church is much more effective and can be spread with impunity. It is against the latter that I take issue today.

It is so easy to classify humans and we do it every day. We classify them to assess their importance relative to us, and once we have assessed that, we find it easy to put them in a box or even better - in a box file. In this box file we put similar people and on the outside we put a sticker on which we write: 'below me' or 'not my class'.

In fact we go so far in society that we class them in large groups or castes and then call them high society or low society. As if that matters. As if it is the most important thing in the world. We might even sort them according to colour, as if colour matters.

We are so addicted to sorting and sorting out whilst we have no idea why we sort them. In our databases we sort them even according to the first letter of their first or last name, as if that matters.

In this respect I like to sort things according to their species and one of the species I really like is the human species. They have such exciting ways, dreams, customs and stories of which I shall never tire.

However, as soon as I put another layer on them so that they are not any longer of the pure human species, like politicians, snobs, tax collectors or customs officials, I lose interest in them. These politician et al and many others hold no interest or value to me, because they lose their value as human beings as soon as they are classified.

How or why should any of these mentioned inhuman classifications be of any interest to me if they are such stereotyped inanimate improvisations? I know what to expect of them. From politicians I expect no truth or honesty, from traffic cops I expect no reason or mercy and as for snobs ... I forgot what not to expect from them - if anything at all - they have just become too stale to think anything of them at all.

As soon as they remove that layer under which they disguise, hide, camouflage or excuse themselves, I become interested in them again. In the taxonomy of species one gets to a point where it becomes impossible or meaningless to say something is animate or inanimate, and these mentioned disguised human beings fall exactly in that gap between animate and inanimate, because to classify them as animate or inanimate will destroy the status of both these groups.

But, my issue today is not specifically with politicians or traffic cops. It is with any kind of disguise which makes humans less human, and believe me, it is these disguised humans who are the first to claim their human rights - why, I would never know.

I believe in human beings because they are sentient, kind, friendly, loving, appreciative, honest, humble, long suffering, sympathetic and resilient. I do not find the last mentioned qualities in any of these disguised humans.

On a more humorous note I am reminded of the character Falstaff in Shakespeare's King Henry IV - Part 1. Falstaff is quite a coward and gets into a swordfight with Hotspur which is quite a hero. After a light touch from Hotspur's sword, Falstaff falls down and pretends to be dead, and here is his heroic defence of that cowardice:

’twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit: to die, is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the counterfeit of a man who hath not the life of a man: but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life.’

I believe in Fallstaff, because he is so truly human and never pretends what he is not - and I believe in humans, because they do not pretend what they are not.

I close with this lovely song from Beauty and the Beast:

We'll be dancing again! 
We'll be twirling again!
We'll be whirling around with such ease

When we're human again
Only human again
We'll go waltzing those old one-two-threes
We'll be floating again! 
We'll be gliding again! 
Stepping, striding as fine as you please
Like a real human does
I'll be all that I was
On that glorious morn
When we're fin'lly reborn
And we're all of us human again!

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