Sunday, July 31, 2011

WE

Burying our dead. Believing in gods. Making fire. Adding to the argument on what separates humans from other animals, I speculate that we are the only beast who is aware of our own beast's presence far away. We know we have a father in India, a cousin in Belgium, a grandmother in Guatemala. Of humans we have not met, we know Obama is in America and Hu Jintao is in China. We might never meet Obama nor Hu, yet we know they exist. We have not met Riel nor Napoleon nor Tutankhamen, yet we know they existed. It is not about the internet or newspaper -- an illiterate blacksmith in Rome could be aware of a Cleopatra in Egypt. Our awareness of the existence of a member of our own species transcends space, time, and technology.

Beyond running-, swimming-, and flying-distance, other animals are not aware of their own. The horse in Yukon does not know of the horse in Argentina, let alone the horse from 1511.

I suspect we are the only beast who creates mythology. Legends and lore that confirm, and disseminate the confirmation of, our existence throughout space and throughout time. History. Fame. Celebrity. Notoriety.