What should a human being do?

Robert A. Heinlein, a popular (and controversial) science fiction writer, on what a human being should be capable of doing:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

– Robert A. Henlein, Time Enough for Love (1973) p.248

Specialization is, indeed, for insects.


One thought on “What should a human being do?

  1. Well, of course, that is what preoccupied Shakespeare, too. Hamlet’s speeches are full of these musings and quandaries. I think you’re mature enough now to read it (again?) and pick up on this. Worth the effort.

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