Wed, 04/13/2011 - 11:00 am PST by Jess
I’m always interested in headlines and stories which unveil new ancient historical findings. We’ve all seen Raiders of the Lost Ark. What’s more thrilling than the thought of a real-world plane-hoping, snake-battling adventure to discover a new species, culture, or ancient man-made artifact?
This week I’m getting a bit of a playful kick out of the tidbits coming off the wire from our modern day archeologists friends. A few that caught my eye...
So are we really that politically correct of a society that we need to find validation of minorities, or social stigmas in our past? I guess so. After all, human beings apparently love labeling things. I’m guilty of being a self proclaimed Aquarian through-and-through. We praise “good karma” and call foul on “bad karma” all day long at DailyHoroscope.com. So why would it be any different for our ancestors?
Well the easiest argument is that thousands of years ago the only thing that was top-of-mind for most living species was sheer day-to-day survival. It’s hard to imagine subtle social discrimination and labeling would find its way into the life of a dinosaur. Could you imagine the small dinosaur with his buck teeth being laughed at by the much more dentally correct T-Rex?
Well, believable it or not, classification -- both good and bad -- exists in all living species. Evolution and “Survival of Fittest” is an ongoing rationale for all forms of labeling and classification. As human beings, we are born with instincts to put things in boxes -- symptoms, behaviors, patterns, right, wrong. Even in the absence of “life or death” circumstances, we feel compelled and are conditioned to label. And often we do it to our own societal detriment.
Alas, today I’m smiling and enjoying these headlines. Don’t want to get deep into discussions of racial discrimination, social injustice and so on. I’m simply asking are we at risk of mislabeling things because we are "born" to label? From gay or straight, black or white, nerdy or cool. And even in the world of Astrology, why give people a Sun sign, Moon and Rising signs? Are we all able to be put in boxes and classified?
I say no. We’re all unique. We live this one life (that we remember) and we just do the best we can. Labels are helpful to find commonality, gain consensus and ultimately move forward. But they can NOT define us ... or can they? Maybe 2,000 years from now, some new species will dig up fossils of my body and see my eyebrow ring, iPhone attached to my hip and say “Clearly … she was an Aquarius”