Delving deep into our species’ undiscovered mysteries of the universe — for some, it is a passion with no end.
For others, living the lives that ancestors had laid out is sufficient.
Neither is worse nor better than the other.
In fact, we may be predisposed to one or the other, or some combination thereof.
Therefore, it behooves us to know ourselves, our desires, our capabilities.
I know I desire to explore the solar system, if not in my body, then in a body that represents me in some way we haven’t figured out yet.
For that reason alone, I wake up and get out of bed.
But I am a social creature and sleep in bed next to another social creature (or two) pretty much every day, thinking about her and my other friends constantly.
So exploring the solar system only makes sense if I am not alone.
And some days, the rational analysis of pure science gets boring which means my friends and I find ways to entertain ourselves.
That is what makes us special, different from the rocks and the trees, from the wind and the dust.
Our humanness, our unique brand of socialising, carries us out of the solar system in a tiny vessel recently sampling galactic winds.
This morning I played with our cat, Papier, who wanted to play and play and play when I wanted to sit and write.
Is one activity more important than another?
Papier does not care about this laptop computer. She understands it competes with her for my attention.
No one would criticise me for spending the rest of the morning playing with our cat rather than meditating upon the quality of “humanness” by typing here.
The choices we make are ours to make and live with.
When I learned to embrace that last sentence, I gave up worrying about others’ opinions and spent more time loving who I am.
Reminds me of a question a friend asked me in junior high school: “What happens when the people whose opinion you care about don’t care about your opinion?” It was asked rhetorically and we laughed at the dichotomy of growing up in a subculture that you don’t call your own, thinking, at age 12 or 13, that we would not spend our adult years in the same place we were then. That friend ended up living all over the world, including Paris, France, and Borneo. We stay in touch but not very often. My travels have been limited to Northern Hemisphere destinations — when will I ever travel to the Moon or Mars, and with whom?