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”

28 thoughts on “How Much Of A Human Being Are You?”

    1. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ?

  3. 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

    1. Comfort the dying? Yes, my best friend as she died, and I nursed my mother as she died. On the other end I gave birth to Kaitlin. Those two are a lot more important than others on the list.
      Design a building? Designed and helped supervise the cottage after the fire.
      Cheerful Monk recently posted..Poor Tree

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