Monday, December 19, 2011

Thought for the Day -- Definition of a Human Being

The science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said 
"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."

How many of these can YOU do?


WendieO said...

I can butcher and hang a chicken (or other large bird), but I'm not so sure about a hog. Perhaps if I had some help.

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Wait a minute! Heinlein was in the Navy. They specialize to the point of being ridiculous -- a junior officer on an aircraft carrier might, as his principal duty, be in charge of the Coke machines or the laundry.

Now, if he wanted to talk about being a generalist, he should have had the proper credentials. He should have been in the Coast Guard! In the Coast Guard, you do have to be able to do anything!

WendieO said...

Hurrah for the Coast Guard!

Anywho - if you have read a lot of Heinlein's books, the general message of all of them was that a human being should be able to survive anywhere. Which makes his list understandable.