How Much Of A Human Being Are You?

insect_fear“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
~ Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Change a diaper. I can. I did for my son when he was little and for my father when he was incontinent.
Plan an invasion. I can. I have invaded many homes with unannounced intrusions. On the other hand, I have also been invaded thus.
Butcher a hog. I doubt that I can. I have butchered game birds.
Conn a ship. I cannot.  I can however conn an automobile!
Design a building. I have been part of teams that did.
Write a sonnet. I cannot.
Balance accounts. I can.
Build a wall. Around myself, I can and have.
Set a bone. Haven’t had an opportunity though was taught while I was a boy scout as part of training in first aid.
Comfort the dying. Haven’t had an opportunity but at a pinch I suppose that I can.
Take/Give orders. I can and have taken and given.
Cooperate. I can.
Act alone. I can.
Solve equations. I can.
Analyze a new problem. I can.
Pitch manure. I can.
Program a computer. I cannot.
Cook a tasty meal. I can. I do it all the time.
Fight efficiently. I suppose that if I had to, I can. I have fought but whether efficiently or not, I would not know.
Die gallantly. I am yet to do that, but I suppose that when the time comes, I should be able to.

Not too bad. I am mostly not an insect. The only person that I can think of who is called Insect is Jiggs. His wife Maggie calls him that in the cartoons “Bringing Up Father”

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28 Responses to How Much Of A Human Being Are You?

  1. nick says:

    Goodness, this sounds more like Superman. Is there any human being who can do all those things? I think my total score is six! Tell me, why on earth would I want to pitch manure?
    nick recently posted..The agony of divorce

  2. Grannymar says:

    Conn a ship? How the heck do you do that?

    Living alone as I have for fifteen years, certainly honed my skills on most of the above.
    Grannymar recently posted..The Spirit of Christmas

    • World English Dictionary
      con or esp ( US ) nautical conn 4 (kɒn)

      — vb , cons , conns , conning , conned
      1. ( tr ) to direct the steering of (a vessel)

      — n
      2. the place where a person who cons a vessel is stationed

  3. Mike says:

    Ahh… but Lazarus Long lived a long, long time to do all of that.

    I’ve done or would be able to do a fair number of these. I’d have a hard time butchering a hog or pitching manure so didn’t count those — queasy stomach — but could if it were a necessity for survival.

    Conning a ship is giving the orders to those who operate the ship in order to make it go where it’s supposed to.
    Mike recently posted..Eyes of the Great Depression 120.

  4. Phew – something I can do. Pitching manure. I can hereby advise you that if you have the choice – opt for the cows rather than the pigs.
    blackwatertown recently posted..Daydreams

  5. Cathy in NZ says:

    it depends
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..My hometown

  6. Nandu Pillai says:

    If time travel is ever invented ( I doubt it ever will ) most of us would be unable to explain ( let alone make ) most of what we take for granted to people who lived say 500 years ago . Humbling huh ?

  7. This list must be prepared for “humanity” as opposed to a single “human”. Perhaps if I can accomplish one thing I am human? I think so. And I feel quite proficient as a human since I can do more than one thing on the list.
    Talk to Me…I’m Your Mother recently posted..Let’s Serve Gratitude

  8. Program a computer? No problem, at least in the past. I used to love to do that, so the question brings back warm memories.

    Cook a tasty meal? It depends on what you call tasty. Our tastes are most likely more simple than most people’s.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Poor Tree

  9. tammyj says:

    well. that was fun!
    what a list.
    I could never slaughter a hog. pigs are almost as intelligent as we are. key word ‘almost!’ . . . but truly they do know now that they are highly intelligent. they know exactly what is happening to them. sad in the extreme to me. i never eat them.
    the rest . . . i couldn’t do an equation if my life depended on it. no. really. just shoot me now if you have to.
    some of the rest I’ve pretty much done . . . even the house design part with a friend. and he wound up building it! that was fun.
    diapers of course. and shoveling manure yes. remember my dad had horses! LOL. definitely a preparation for life itself.
    program a computer! NOT!!! but i might like to at least try!
    plan an invasion. nope. set a bone? my head would be swimming with the words “first do no harm!”
    and the wall you built is the kind i have built. i understand it very well.
    another wonderful thought provoking post rummy. this blog is a delight.

    comforting the dying. yes.
    dying myself with gallantry . . . i hope to be able to. I’ve seen it done by my mother and my husband. maybe it’s something given to you at the last. don’t know.
    and . . . i love jiggs!!! and maggie! didn’t know they were still doing that cartoon!
    tammyj recently posted..on a leaf

  10. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    My goodness, a Human has to be able to do all that? Well, I guess we wouldn’t be insects lol.
    Let me see, how much of a Human I am:
    Change a diaper: check.
    Plan an invasion: check.
    Butcher a hog: not kosher; so no.
    Conn a ship: no.
    Design a building: I can only give ideas to an architect.
    Write a sonnet: check (I had to in Literature classes).
    Balance accounts: check (I had to in Business school & later on at work).
    Build a wall: spiritual or physical?
    Set a bone: no.
    Comfort the dying: check.
    Take/Give orders: check.
    Cooperate: check.
    Act alone: check.
    Solve equations: I used to.
    Analyse a new problem: check.
    Pitch manure: no.
    Program a computer: check.
    Cook a tasty meal: check.
    Fight efficiently: check.
    Die gallantly: I’ll let you know when the time comes lol 🙂

    Rummy, it seems like we are human after all ;).

    Max Coutinho recently posted..Maxiavelli: I concede, Last Post

  11. I’ve changed many a diaper, steered small boats but not ships, balanced accounts, comforted the dying, pitched manure, solved equations and analyzed problems. I can act alone and cooperate with others, give orders if needed, take orders only under duress, cook well, am fairly proficient on the computer and handy around the house. I don’t fight and I hope only to die with a measure of grace. But I take issue with the idea that we should be able to do a particular list of things. Heinlein presumably wrote out a list of things HE could do, but I bet there are other things he left off the list because he can’t do them. There’s no shame in not being omnipotent.
    Secret Agent Woman recently posted..Thanksgiving

  12. wisewebwoman says:

    I killed chickens, rabbits and fish. But ne’er a pig. I think that counts. So yes, Ramana all of the above, do I win a prize?

    wisewebwoman recently posted..Reflections

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