Every once in a while, I wake up in the morning, stumble into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and ask “Who the hell is that?” I answer that question a little differently each time, depending upon where I was the night before, who I was with and exactly what sort of trouble I got myself into.

On a broader scale, though, the answer to that question has not changed in a very long time. Collectively, we are human beings. We were deposited, or homegrown, on a little ball of dirt that wanders around a rather average star. The ball of dirt, and the star, are of infinitesimal importance in the universal picture, at least in terms of size, weight, location, etc. Even in terms of time, the human race has been around just a trace of one percent of the existence of our unremarkable ball of dirt.

Worse yet, something in the basic make-up of man requires that we break ourselves down into smaller and smaller groups. Americans and Frenchmen. Californians and New Yorkers. San Franciscans and Los Angelenos. Men and women. Democrats and Republicans. Blacks and whites. Under and over 30. White and blue collar. Liberal and conservative. Baptists and Catholics. Single and married. Rock and country fans. Etc, ad infinitum. Or nauseam.

The smaller the grouping, the less important it is in terms of size, weight and length of existence. How much attention can we expect the universe to pay to the Methodist Socialist Liberal Korean Retired Single Men’s Mathematics Kiwanis Caucus of Keokuk, Iowa? The universe just has to be saying, “Who the hell is the MSLKRSMMKCKI”?

Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The view of mankind comes from within each of it’s members, and is aimed outward. Some of us choose to ignore what we see. Others choose to dis-believe it. Others believe and just don’t care. A few care and want to help things get a little better. The attitudes are as many and varied as the number of people there are.

And that is what is important. Each of us has a wide range of options, especially in the area of standards and beliefs, and how we act upon the standards and beliefs we have chosen, if at all. In short, we can be individuals. In the end, each of us can claim responsibility for our own actions, and no more.

So when you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, think about what you see. That thing in there is you, and it is the only one like it anywhere in the universe. Your size and weight and length of existence do not matter.

Because you are unique.


Kermit []