WHAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN

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I think you’ll agree that doctors and nurses are really special people. You trust them with your body, share your hopes and dreams with them, even tell them dark secrets you wouldn’t dare to tell your spouse or lover, mother or father.

Those people exemplify humanity.

Those are also the people who will sit with you in the dead of night while you whisper your fears, making sure no one else can hear. In return, they respond with a different language. They squeeze your hands tighter and tighter and seem to always know what you need, what you want, just as though you were screaming it from the rooftops.

That’s what it is to be human.

But robotic medicine is rapidly invading our future with machine-like precision and efficiency. They’ve taken over many vital responsibilities that humans used to have. Yet, their insidious addition still progresses under the radar of the ordinary citizen — at least the ones whose jobs they haven’t taken.

In hospitals, more and more responsibilities are being handled  by robotic technology and robotic machines. Bots seem to be thriving  in patient care, maintenance, security, infection control, and even surgery. And they do a good job.

As time progresses, we will probably rely on them more and more. But bots won’t squeeze your hand or hug you. They are an emotionless, heartless,  programmed population. And one day in the not too distant future, they could even evolve to a level of dominance where they simply won’t need us.

And that won’t be science fiction

Right now, we are teaching them to care for us and care for themselves. Why wouldn’t they become advanced enough to see how puny and worthless we really are? I mean, even a bot wouldn’t destroy everything it needs to survive. Yet, we do it all the time. We rape the earth — destroy plants, kill animals, contaminate the very air we breathe. And we don’t seem to care all that much about each other.

Is that what it means to be human?

Listen to N. Scott Momaday, a native American and Pulitzer Prize winner:

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things
You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
You see, I am alive, I am alive

 

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