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Mankind - Are We Turning Into Rodents?

Updated on April 22, 2013
Pika | Source

The Pika (Ochotona princeps) shown above is a small rodent-like mammal who lives in the colder climates of higher elevations throughout North America and Canada. Like mankind today, the Pika lives a relatively solitary life. Although the Pika lives in small communities, much of their time is spent alone. Eating and putting away enough food for himself is the Pika's primary concern.

During a quick stop at the post office today, I saw once again, the destructive nature of our human species. There we were, six people waiting in line and for five solid minutes, not a greeting or word was exchanged between us. So, I spoke, calling attention to the silence. I think I sad something mundane like "Everyone sure is quiet."

The other five exploded in what resulted in a delightful conversation among strangers. We talked of how our world has changed, how everyone was more interested in themselves than the person standing next to them. Another suggested that texting has taken the place of verbal conversation and yet another commented that we don't even look up from our cell phones to greet one another anymore. We all agreed that the world had become a very sad place and that we had become - a hollow, selfish society.

We are the "human" race, aren't we?

Driving home, I couldn't shake the feeling that something wonderful had taken place in that little post office. Six people, all caught up in their own thoughts, reached out to each other, shared a smile and a common concern, and for those few moments in time, we were one kind - mankind. The energy in that post office was changed. It was palpable and obvious that each of us had been lifted in spirit due to our shared encounter. We were a representative mix of society, young and old, black, white, and Asian but for a moment, we were one race - the human race.

As I reveled in the new energy I had experienced as a result of the shared experience. The sun seemed to shine a little brighter and my view of the world, felt a little less jaded. That's when it it hit me like a wet fish in the face.

We have taken the "kind" out of "mankind" and what we are left with is a society of solitary "man". Do the math.

Mankind - kind = man

The Power To Change Where We Are Headed Is Ours

So I wonder, how do we change it? What will it take for us to realize we are more than solitary rodents; that we were created to be a civil society. Could a simple greeting among strangers be a place to start?

There have been days in the past when we needed each other, and the day will come when we will need each other again. Will there be anyone there? When the lights go out and cell phone service dies, will anyone reach out a hand in solidarity or friendship to help us? Or, will we let our years of ignorance and solitude be our demise?

The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that man may become robots. - Erich Fromm

Will we become like the Pika who spends his days alone, hoarding, and running from predators?


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  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Phyllis, and thanks for sharing your story. I have had similar experiences and I always think...that could be me one day or, someone I love. My philosophy of life is that what we put out returns to us. I am so thankful for parents who instilled in me that kindness isn't an option but rather, is a responsibility.

    Now it's my turn to show my appreciation. I cannot thank you enough for taking your precious time to read my hub. I'm no professional but I have always loved that words, when properly strung together, can tough hearts and open minds. If I do that with just one reader, I am satisfied. Thank you so very much.

  • Phyllis Doyle profile image

    Phyllis Doyle Burns 

    6 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

    Linda, this is a refreshing outlook on life in today's society and a great topic to write a hub on. I like your style of writing. I, too, often wonder what is becoming of the mankind and the way people no longer reach out to others as much as we used to. I grew up in neighborhoods where everyone greeted each other in passing. Now, it is like most people have a sign on their forehead that says "do not bother me".

    I was grocery shopping early today and the store was crowded. There was a very short elderly lady who was trying to reach a product on the top shelf. Everyone just passed her by, even though it was obvious she was really struggling. I asked her if I could help and she was shocked that anyone would even speak to her. Then she smiled and thanked me, told me she needed just four cans from up there. I got them down for her and she could not thank me enough. I mean, it took only a few seconds from my task to help her. She must not be used to kindness or people reaching out to her. she could not thank me enough. It made me feel good that I helped someone.

    Great hub, Linda.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Surreal but frightening Faith Reaper. thank you for adding to the conversation here. I really am glad you visited.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    6 years ago from southern USA


    Wow, very thought-provoking write here, no doubt! We need to stop worshipping all of these false idols. I can just picture us, as we are close now, to all just sitting in our little pods, isolated from actual human touch and conversation eye-to-eye, in our virtual worlds. Surreal, but . . . just saying.

    Voted Way Up

    In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I don't get the chastising of your closing paragraph. I got your message and I think it's one to make people think. We've lost human face to face communiction. If your hub makes people think about that, then you've done your job. I for one, agree with you!

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks so much Robwrite!!!!! Did you by any chance read the other comments on this hub. If you have time, I would sure appreciate some more feedback.

  • Robwrite profile image


    6 years ago from Oviedo, FL

    Excellent hub, as usual. You make excellent points. People are so impressed with what we've gained (technologically) that no one is paying attention to what we've lost. The lack of human connection is turning us into tech-addicted zombies who spend more time with computers than people.

    Very well done,


  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello CloudExplorer!!! I am so glad you came to visit and you have no idea how much I appreciate your thoughtful comments. I am often amused when followers say all this wonderful stuff about a hub that you knw could use some work. I appreciate honesty.

    Now, please understand, I am not feeling at all defensive. I just want to carry the dialogue a bit farther. I came here to HP to learn; to become a better writer so that's why I want to continue.

    Do you think a good hub is defined by leaving the reader feeling good? Or, can a hub be good because it represents some truth that may not be so positive? I want to understand.

    My hub ending was intended to be a warning, have no doubt. I honestly think that we are losing our most precious commodity, one-on-one communication, due to technology. And yes, I honestly believe we are headed towards a time of a dreary existence. My hope is that before it happens, we will wake up and use what we’ve learned to strengthen us so that we will come out on the other side of it better than we were before.

    My hub is reflective of my life philosophy, that there is balance in all things that exists between the extremes of , light/dark, good/evil, cold/hot, or poverty/abundance. One cannot appreciate one without having experienced the other and, that we should strive to at the very least, find our way to the middle ground of those extremes.

    From a philosophical viewpoint, I can understand that if one leaves the reader feeling good, your ratings will improve and that’s a good thing. Maybe I’m just a rebel at heart but I didn’t come to HP to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. I came because I think I have something to say that can make a difference. And, I think sometimes you have to scare the crap out of people to wake them up.

    So, I would like to ask you….

    Is a good hub one that tells people what they want to hear or can it be one that doesn’t but pushes them to be better human beings and to have a better life? I can’t help but think about the day I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. My physician referred me to a nutrition counselor who explained that I should no longer eat the things I love (i.e. fresh baked hot yeast rolls, pasta, or potatoes). It wasn’t what I wanted to hear but…hearing and doing it will save my life and limbs.

    I’ll warn you, I may write a hub about this very issue. lol

  • CloudExplorer profile image

    Mike Pugh 

    6 years ago from New York City

    Hi there Inc7815, I'm so glad that you decided to read some of my hubs, and follow me, and I have arrived!

    I read Mhatter's comment and many others here, I think the issue that he has addressed in terms of the negative factors and elements that exist in your hub here, is maybe how the hub ended.

    I sort of felt the same as well towards the ending where it somewhat suggests that we are headed in some sort of downwards direction so to speak with an open ended question leaving us to ponder about a potential dreary existence.

    I think there is a sort of stigma that exists in the social atmosphere's of society where many people think as a single group, also known as group think.

    What I mean by this is that, if the masses of people tend to follow a given trend, then what tends to follow is a major consensus that things as a whole is going towards a certain way, either positive in nature or that of negative.

    The funny thing is however, not everything is going that way or everyone, and so it appears that Mhatter is merely suggesting not to follow such a trend of thought, and by writing such a conclusion in your hub may have left him as well as me with such a tone that was strongly suggested towards its end and in other varying parts of the hub.

    So maybe if you want the readers to be left with a differing theme, the conclusion of your article needs to suggest just that pretty much, and that's my take on the ordeal, I hope Mhatter returns to respond as well, but it really isn't that serious, what is serious is learning to master the art of good hub writing, which isn't easy at all, but once you figure it all out you'll never have a doubt about what anyone is commenting to you about, and as to what specifically was written by you. "I'm still trying to master it myself"

    Thanks for being so awesome to write such a purely genuine style hub from your heart felt experience in life there at the post office. I think us humans will tend to sway with the tides of what we think is cool for a moment, but as the waves of supposed coolness subsides we all return to what you termed in your hub as merely being human, or that of a normal function member of what it is to be part of "mankind".

    Good job overall, Thumbs up, and getting shared.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, I have always believed that kindred spirits will find each other, no matter the distance between them. You, me, Bill, we are of like mind and, we have reached that place in our lives where we realize the importance of those little things we take for granted. It is a good place to be.

    I can relate to your feeling of isolation. I was laid off in April and have yet to find a job. I find myself awake and writing at 3 a.m. and getting less and less sleep. I've wondered if it is the need to communicate or, have I just screwed my hours up. It's interesting at any rate.

    I'm glad your post office encounter made you kick up your heels a little bit. Feels good, doesn't it?

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, get out of my head! I swear you must be riding my shoulder. Today, I went to the post office to purchase stamps (yes, I still write checks!). No one was there as I walked in. No longer working for an entity, but working for myself, I set my own hours. I was there before lunchtime and the building was empty except for me and the postal worker. As I walked freely through the line that said, "enter here", I commented, "it sure is quiet in here!". It was at that point I realized I had uttered words to a being other than my cats. It seemed the postal worker was equally aware he'd not spoken to a human in a while!

    As I walked out of the PO, I had a smile on my face. It dawned on me, that going into business for myself means I have limited interaction with live human beings. I walked out of that PO with a bounce in my step! In the week and a half since I quit my job, I've cut myself off from human contact. Today was awesome!

    Each being we encounter in our lives deserves our attention. You don't realize it until you don't get it yourself.

    We are living, breathing beings who deserve to be recognized, even if by a simple "hello"!

    Awesome hub, my friend. You and billybuc seem to talk to me when it hits home!!

    Love Ya!

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Mhatter99! I hope you've had a good day. Did you feel that I was really that negative in this piece? Be honest. My intent was to provoke thought to how we are allowing technology and greed isolate us but, to also show that it only takes a simple, no-cost gesture to build bridges. Maybe I didn't do this very well. I'd be interested in some feedback.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 

    6 years ago from San Francisco

    Your feelings are sadly true. But let' jump ahead to the positive. Once you understand what you are feeling, it give the power to lead the mob to do "good". Provided one have confidence in oneself. I took a broad leap from your report. But does really start there.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, it was such a simple thing today and yet it changed everything. I really do wonder how our world would be changed if we started with something as simple as a smile and a hello. We really aren't all that different so why are we allowing ourselves to be so divided? Thank you for your support and feedback. You should have pointed out my typos though. lol They are fixed now.

    You're going to hit me again tomorrow huh? I won't sleep tonight for sure.

    Have a great evening my friend. You earned it today, for sure.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    That was a beautiful read and a lovely gesture that you made in the post office....with surprising results I might add. You have raised a question that is valid and frightening my friend. I am trying to remain positive....I have strapped on my PIPO....and I hope it makes a difference.

    Well done Linda! Just a heads up: you will be mentioned in my Thursday hub! :)

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 

    6 years ago from Arizona

    Some heavy thoughts here.. well written and so true.


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