On Being Human


Star date 92776.06. Spock has left to go where many men have gone before. In leaving this planet, Leonard Nimoy has left a great following. He was always my favorite in the original series. His way of thinking made sense. And most of the time he was so in control of those emotions, suppressing that side of his existence.

Maybe he appealed to me because he's not the type to fall apart at every Hallmark commercial, eat an entire box of Russell Stover Assorted Fine Chocolates over the stress of filing taxes, or scream with fury at the refs making bad calls against our team in the Superbowl. He normally controlled himself, and we all want more control, right? Especially more self-control.

To be Vulcan would mean no more foot-in-mouth disease. Everyone would be on an even keel. Borg could attack, no big deal. The stock market could crash, a mere walk in the park. Oh sure, we’d have to find hats to accommodate our pointed ears, but humans’ ears continue to grow and their lobes elongate as they grow older, so either way, we’re ear-challenged. At Christmas, we could earn a little extra money playing elves for Santa in local department stores.

Playing the straight man would suddenly be easier. We’d win more often at poker. Vulcan actors would have more of a challenge, perhaps. They would have to dig down deep to find those feelings of frantic fear during a chase scene, amorous feelings in a romance scene, and feelings of true grit in a western brawl. Acting the part of a ridiculous, sophomoric human might be especially hard because it wouldn’t make sense. Nobody would appreciate The Three Stooges.

But I would miss the spontaneity, the smiles, and the humor in the mundane things of everyday life.

Nobody at Walmart would say anything to me as I entered or departed. Of course, some sorts might prefer that, but they have social issues. Going through the line at Starbucks, the baristas and servers would all look like they needed a shot of espresso. It would all be so drab after a while. A Stepford community where everyone, even politicians, were always logical.

But maybe it wouldn’t bother me after all, since I would be 100 percent Vulcan like everyone else and know nothing different. But if we were all half-human, like Spock, we might know what we were missing, yet not be capable of fully experiencing those things.

So, maybe being a purebred member of the human race isn’t so bad after all. I get to stop and smell the roses instead of simply observing that they are perennial flowers, from the genus Rosa, that come in many different colors and have thorns on their stems. A dog is my “best friend” rather than a four-footed creature from the Canidae family of the genus Canis. When I say “I love you with all my heart,” I’m being poetic rather than referring to the four-chambered organ that pumps the blood throughout my body. And exclaiming that a dress I found while shopping is “to die for,” does not mean I have any intention of ending my life over my fashion find. Otherwise, what good would it do to have found that new apparel, unless I planned to wear it to my own funeral? I have a better appreciation for the good things because I’ve experienced the bad. I’m eternally grateful for a wonderful, aromatic, rich French vanilla cappuccino because I’ve endured the bitterness of a cup of black coffee that could be enjoyed only by a nomad who’d been wandering for months across the Arctic tundra.

All in all, it’s great to be a member of the homo sapien species. And thank you, Spock. In sharing your Vulcan ways, you taught all of your fans more about being fully human. Rest in peace, dear friend.