Saturday, October 14, 2006

I Wish I Loved The Human Race

Long, long ago I learned a mean little rhyme, and there are days when it comes back. I have a head full of these gems, some of which are handy bits of wisdom that make up for my lack. Others, like this one, are reactions to times when people seem to cooperate to make my time irritating, frustrating, or simply boring. The full version (by Sir Walter Raleigh) is:

     I wish I loved the Human Race;
     I wish I loved its silly face;
     I wish I liked the way it walks;
     I wish I liked the way it talks;
     And when I’m introduced to one,
     I wish I thought "What Jolly Fun!"

This is the flip side of the herd instinct, which keeps us together, collectively and individually. I suppose we have to have crowds to make us value being alone sometimes, and certainly when we have been alone too long, we value company.

Occasionally, I believe, we agree with the sentiment behind this rhyme. We do not always need company, at least not necessarily human company. Certainly, cats, budgies, puppies, big dogs or little ones for hiking or hunting, are company. The don't argue; indeed, they seem to agree. My oldest daughter has snakes longer than herself which almost seem to purr when she wraps them around her neck. If they could talk to you, I'm sure they would say they love her.

I suppose if you exercised requited love with some other friendly species, you might believe you did not like our own species, and there is plenty to dislike. For myself, I'm frequently partial to certain humans, but I am very choosy about it.


At 3:57 PM, Blogger Keith said...

There's no response to that post, except to say that my bestest friend in the whole world is a cat.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger because said...

hi don

the human race is not a race it's a species. now having shown my superior take on that I can address the rest. I live a lone and like it but do wish someone wuld amble by ow and then, when I shoose for them to amble by of course sice I m ake all the rules around here.

I'm the human in charge . . .the only one which is the way I like it. the telephone rings now and then but I don't hear very well and the machine answers. I get back to folks when it occurrs to me to look at the messages saved which is not often.

living on the internet solves most of it for me. . . no cuddles for sure but lots more interestig people than I've ever had before in my life and the amazing GOOGLE which can answer every question even how to spell when I want to know that. I love google.

dogs are not a part of my life anymore and I miss them, but NOT taking care of them. why do we choose to live with animals, clean up after them. feed them, etc etc. for love? must be or for production . . .yes I've done that.

Humans are good taken with a bit of now and then. . . . winsum at sn

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Cheeta said...

One very minor correction (not to take away in any way from the posting itself!); the little verse referred to, which I too remember from my childhood, is indeed the work of a Walter Raleigh - but not, of course, the most famous one, the one who proferred his cloak to the Queen. Can't imagine an Elizabethan using the term "what jolly fun" about anything, and he didn't.

The verse was composed around 1914 by a Walter Alexander Raleigh - about whom I knew absolutely nothing, until I looked him up here .

A professor of English Literature at Oxford, who died in 1922 somewhat suddenly, from typhoid fever contracted while abroad for research on a history of the Royal Air Force.

The little poem appears in a work published after his death.

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