One of the high points of English literature, perhaps the apotheosis of Western civilization occurs in Act II, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Hamlet. They are words expressing the beauty, wisdom, perfection and also the fragility and emptiness of our species. They capture Hamlet forlorn and despairing:
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust?
This is all to say, if you ever feel good about mankind, feel like we are purposeful, intelligent and progressing, take a minute and read some Facebook comments.
This was on the feed of Stacy, a friend of mine whose birthday was today.