Friday, February 1, 2008

Periodic Ponderings

So I was in line at Chipotle with a few coworkers the other day and I found myself doing what I do when I'm bored, reading the fine print or anything else available that isn't what I'm obviously supposed to read. I was looking about and there was some signage in the place that caught my interest. It was plugging the earthy, hearty, and green nature of their products and one of their proclamations was "Only humanely raised pork in use"

I took a moment to silently give props to whatever copy editor Chipotle hired for finding an effective way of saying that they don't endorse torturing animals for the sake of American gluttony. I appreciated that (and we English geeks have to stick together, ya know?).

Then I started thinking about the word "humane". I used to volunteer at the Humane Society in Pasadena and I mused at the word back then too. It’s something I've always smiled to myself about. The root is "human" - implying that being humane is a human state and vice versa.

Simultaneously, in other brightly lit corners of the vernacular universe, being "human" has very different meanings. It’s an excuse for infidelity, selfishness, forgetfulness, and addiction. It’s a mental dirty laundry basket in which we comfortably put everything that we find wrong with us.

So the idea of "human" is apparently something that means both the best and the worst that we have to offer as a race. That amazes me.

Dual Natures are one of the most fascinating things in the world to me. God does not believe in homogony at all I think. Even what’s beneath our own skin is a constant pull between to very dissimilar forces and animators. I think we've always been aware of this as a race and its constantly fascinated and frightened us. Like its something we've always been aware of but never completely understood. I think that those feelings and deep rooted knowledge of this is expressed in the shades of our language and especially in the words we use to describe ourselves. When I started thinking about it, more than one have very clear double meanings/uses.

Being human, being smart, being special -

So after my 45 second ponderance I made the mistake of trying to articulate it to my coworkers or any other obliging stand-in-liner and I just got the you're-from-Mars look so I thought I'd take my thoughts to the blogger universe.

I know I'm not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed so I'm sure there is a world of insight and other examples of this. Please - teach me.


Liz said...

Hmm... very interesting,Liz. I've thought a lot about the dual nature of things--the God and Mammon of our lives. Maybe I'll do a post in response to your post...

Ms. Liz said...

Ohh! I dearly hope so. I'm sure you'll explore the concept with much more grace than I can muster. I think I've really just scratched the surface of it all honestly.