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First Object

Oct 23, 1996 06:26 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

In response to points made by Bart and Kym:

I agree with you, Bart, that "nucleus within the universal
human family" weakens the object.  You don't say why, but to me
it loses the prescriptive quality, the idea of trying to
exemplify an ideal and be an evolutionary vanguard.  You also
don't say why "fellowship" weakens it for you; at least it
retains this quality of "should" rather than "is." Why is
fellowship weaker than brotherhood?

Kym, may I call you that?  I'm probably as put off by being
called "Mr. Johnson" -- at least in contrast to the generally
informal nature of this list-- as you might be by some
distancing, gender-specific term.  Anyhow, problems with your
suggestions that I find:
1. "Kinship" is pretty good, although "family" might be simpler
and equivalent.  But they both are descriptive rather than
prescriptive.  Humanity already is kin, family, etc.  But we
sure as hell aren't a brotherhood or a fellowship!  We need a
future-oriented, optimistic term. Also,
"kinship" doesn't have the breadth of meaning that "fellowship"
does; its meaning is fairly restricted to genetic factors
rather than social ones.
2. Body, whole, and society all lack the affective appeal of
fellowship or even kinship.

So let's keep trying.  Maybe a whole new approach is in order:
e.g. "to form a nucleus of universal human solidarity (love...
whatever.)  "Universal blank of humanity" limits the options.


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