Much fanfare has been made and much more has been written about Yuval Harari’s book called Sapiens. This post isn’t about that book at all. I wish it could be, but I haven’t read it.
This post is simply about the word itself. Sapiens.
I’ve always read “homo-sapiens” in so many places and never thought about it much. What does it mean? Oh it means human beings. That’s what we learned in school, and that’s what I remember. End of story.
Until I accidentally highlighted the word on my Kindle last night. The Kindle has a nifty feature where a highlighted word is immediately and automatically defined using the in-built dictionary.
And it threw up the meaning of the word sapien. “Wise”, it said. Wow. Wise. We have named ourselves wise. We are wise, at times. But mostly we are angry, cranky, greedy, jealous, scared, anxious… the list is endless.
We should live up to our biological name better.