Farewell, Dear Humanity.. adieu, chère humanité

photo by Laura H Parker

When an 85 year old writes those words everyone assumes I’m the one about to leave this world, right?  Quite the opposite.  My sadness is watching humanity die before my eyes while I go on living.

We are losing our human selves in ‘great clumps on the hairbrush of information technology’ daily.  Hairbrush?  What a startling metaphor.  But it is apt because IT bristles and yanks at the lovely tresses of what we humans do best:  look and smile at each other,  listen to and empathize with each other, spend time with one another.  It is true that we are flawed in our human relationships, interrupting and tuning each other out.  But as long as we still can read signs of distress or delight in our fellow human faces we keep those hairs from falling out;  we have hopes of training them.   But instead aren’t we shedding them to emojis?  Our smartphones are coming between us, taking us over.

It seems it is not only to each other, but we can no longer even relate directly to our natural world.  It used to be second nature to go to the park, climb a tree or vacation in a camp ground in the woods.  Someone just sent us a weird article titled “Forest Bathing:  How Trees Can Help you Find Health and Happiness.”  (Time by Qing Li, May 1, 2018.)  Why do we need someone to tell us this?  Are our lives becoming so alienated from a bunch of trees that we need them poured into a warm tub for us?  Such preciousness shows another strand of our humanness, feet on the grassy ground, being brushed away.   “Experts” are combing our natural world into such an odd ‘do’ that it makes it  unrecognizable.  I.T.  forces us to use our 24 hour daily ration of time either on terra firma connecting to its wonders and each other or on the insatiable web.   Yes, the web does bring us our entire planet’s miracles at a fingernail tap, but at such a cost of time and energy that we lose ourselves, falling in bed exhausted.   Now that is human at least.  But IT is surely on the greedy hunt to snag our last 8 hours, those we sleep.

When I step onto the web I sense myself leaving my lovable old world behind.  I choose I.T. over time with friends and try not to “pick up that hairbrush” often.   I feel someone stealing my walk in the woods, repackaging it into bathtub.  It isn’t Dr. Qing Li’s fault, it is I.T. coming between me and the forest.  I, like everybody else, have become a little alien to who I once was. I too have taken that giant step towards moving beyond my humanness.   For my French student friends, the last paragraph here:

Quand je mets le pied sur la ‘toile’ je me sens partir du monde que j’adore.  Je choisis, bien sûr, Le “TI” en préférence au temps passé avec amis, et j’essaie de ne pas saisir cette brosse à cheveux souvent.  J’ai le sens d’être volée de ma balade en bois, convertie en baignoire.  Ce n’est pas la faute du docteur Qing Li; c’est la technologie informatique me séparant de la forêt.   Moi, comme tout le monde, je suis devenue un peu éloignée de celle que j’étais autrefois.  J’ai pris, comme tous les autres, ce pas de géant qui me mène au delà de mon humanité

14 thoughts on “Farewell, Dear Humanity.. adieu, chère humanité

    1. You are the first one to respond to my first blog on a website I am learning to use, constant errors. But I
      have not sent this blog to anyone but my husband…how did you see it? BTW, You must be in Africa somewhere from
      the birds you picture and list. I love birds too but am in CA winters and VT summers.


      1. I found it on Reader and was drawn to your title. It was an interesting article to read too. I live in South Africa.


  1. I’ve been using the web (and blogs) for years, and am heading rapidly into my late 60s. It’s important to take time off from it or else health suffers. There’s too much information at any one time for the human brain to take, I think. But I don’t know that humanity is dying. It’s just that technology’s progress has been too fast. I fear something will happen to interrupt young people’s use of it and then they won’t know how to live for a while… which might be a good thing for them. Or not. I don’t know.

    Are you a new blogger?


    1. I agree, Val. I am aware of all the wonderful things IT has brought into our hands….we really couldn’t survive intelligently without it. I’m at Google every day, looking up something and loving the ready info at the tap of a key. And yes to the speed with which IT is transforming our lives. It could be a good thing for young people to do without their cell phones for a while.
      And I am a new blogger, struggling with simple things like adding a picture! Will read your blogs tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Val, I love your comment above, and am so new at all this I dont even know how to send this to you, other than to click ‘send’…..anyway, you were one of the first to comment, and I suspended for 2 years, and now am back with a shorter format…do check in again!! Especially if you want to practice French!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, Julie. Your reply to my comment appears in my notifications bar at the top right of most pages on this site, when I’m logged in. Oh and, thank you for your request to be able to view my Colouring the Past blog. You’ll be able to follow it in the normal way, in the near future, but for the moment I’ve made the blog private while I do some work on it.

        I suffer from brain fog and its accompanying memory problems so learning a language now is impossible for me. Or rather, I can learn a little but then cannot retain what I’ve learnt.

        Your post is very apposite for me right at the moment as I feel quite overwhelmed by the internet and, unfortunately, by blogging.


      2. Glad to hear from you, Val…you were, with one other, the only ones to comment on my blog begun 2 years ago, and dropped soon afterward until a couple weeks ago. Let me know when you pick up again! Julie

        On Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 4:36 PM Julie Jots Bonjour wrote:


        Liked by 1 person

    3. Hi Val,
      Humanity “as we know it” is at least metamorphizing….physically, mentally, emotionally…we are probably headed towards having tiny computers implanted in our brains, and gradually so taken up with information that perhaps we will have no time for walking, singing, eating…needing arms, limbs….this is a peek way into the future…..or maybe one segment of humanity will break off and carry evolution forward, and the rest of us can enjoy what we love about our humanness….I was quite shaken by Harari’s book, Homo Deus.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Grace….I just found your message of about a year ago!!! I am, at 88, trying to learn how to do this blog! I hope you’ll check in again….I have such fond memories of you…..I have just posted a new juliejotsbonjour blog, plan on very short ones, twice a week….


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