Our Defense

As of right now, I am reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Although this is not going to be a review of the book (not yet, anyway), I do want to discuss something very interesting that it brings up.

Through the novel, Martel has discussed the defenses of different animals; hippos have intense strength in their jaws, “one strike of the claws” from Himalayan and sloth bears can be fatal, and the beaks of black swans are more powerful than they appear.

These unpleasant images and descriptions got me pondering about what our defense mechanisms and tools are. We don’t have super strength anywhere in our body, our teeth aren’t sharp enough to do enough damage to talk about, we don’t really have “claws”…we are pretty vulnerable and defenseless creatures. However, after a little more thinking, I realized that we do have something: our minds.

This is weird for me to think about and I don’t know if I have completely accepted it as my answer, that instead of something physically harmful, we have something else. We have the ability to understand the threatening situation we are in, think through the best possibilities, and have the potential to outsmart what we are dealing with. I’m just not sure if we’re enough competition for an animal with overbearing strength or unimaginably sharp claws.

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “Our Defense

  1. Great post, and thought-provoking. Some thinking has led humans to devise tools – weapons – to be used against harmful creatures (whether they be animals or other humans), but our minds are also capable of inflicting wounds with words. So, yes, indeed, our mind is our best defense, but it depends on the way in which we choose to use it! For good, or for another’s peril? I like your ideas of that better, where they seem like we would use them for good, as that’s a more positive outlook!


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