Happy I’m human

I’m glad I’m not a pelican. Really glad. I watched a documentary on OPB about them the other day and decided that I am, indeed, ecstatic that I’m not a pelican.

Don’t get me wrong, pelicans are completely fascinating; in some ways being a pelican would be wondrous. First, they have bulbous pouches to stow snacks in for short periods of time, which is pretty sweet. Who doesn’t need extra storage for an emergency attack of the munchies?

Also, pelicans open and close their bills reallyreallyreally fast to make their pouches sway to and fro to entice their prospective mate. If only it were that simple to hook a hottie! Half the time opening and closing my mouth drives the gentlemen away.

But ultimately, the negatives outweigh the oh so tantalizing positives. First, remember how unfortunate and uncomfortable most of us were in the looks department when it came to growing up?

ugly baby pelicans
Turns out we had it easy. At least we had clothes to hide our molting skin.

And who hasn’t at one point or another felt smothered by their parents? Baby pelican food is the regurgitated sustenance of  their mommy and daddy pelicans. Talk about smothered.

Most tragically, most pelicans have two babies at a time, and only one usually survives. When resources are low, the baby pelican will hoard food, bullying their twin sister or brother into submission, ultimately killing them.

Just like the pelicans, our environment often determines the way we treat our brothers and sisters. Us humans are all products of forces beyond our control, little specs floating around infinite cosmic confusion. Just like the pelicans,the way we conduct ourselves is largely determined by our environment and our chemical make up

I’m a skeptic when it comes to human agency. But for some strange reason I have come to hope in positive change. It seems  that when we cultivate that sweet inner stillness, that us tiny, inconsequential beings somehow have some say  in things. When  we cultivate the most incredible aspects of the human experience in our own lives, like love and joy and contentment just to name a few,  humans can truly do incredible things.

Call me an idealist, but I think we have more say than the pelican.

And even if we don’t, at least we have opposable thumbs.


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