The Humans by Matt Haig Book Review

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”Emily Dickinson

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Warning No. 2: The Humans by Matt Haig, while delightful contains reference to infidelity and suicide, read at your own risk. 

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Plot:

Our (supposed) hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is already dead before the book even begins.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that the dear professor wasn’t a particularly redeeming character– in fact, he was downright awful and that’s putting it mildly.

This revelation soon strikes the alien impostor, from a (very very very very very…very) distant planet known as Vonnadoria, as a shock as he is now the sole occupant of the recently deceased professor’s body.
Sent to Earth to destroy any evidence of Andrew Martin’s greatest achievement; the solution to the most difficult mathematical problem faced by humans to date, The Riemann Hypothesis, to halt human progression, his job was meant to be a quick and simple task, it was meant to last only a few days, it was meant to be a punishment.
Yet, things are never that simple, especially not such a bizarre world like Earth.
Quite by accident, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family, and “the humans” than he had ever expected.
When he begins to fall in love with ‘his’ own wife and comes to care for ‘their’ son–who have no idea he’s not the real Andrew–the alien must choose between completing his mission and returning home or finding a new home right here on Earth, whilst learning that home is not a location but rather a state of mind.

Characters:

Upon first glance, the characters in this book are what you would expect, you have the distressed wife, depressed teenage son, mad people (though in Alien-Andrew’s defense he thinks all humans are mad initially), cute dog, and the broken but wise stranger named Winston Churchill (don’t ask).

However, while the characters may seem stereotypical at first, they help our protagonist to ‘find his humanity’.

This is why for perhaps the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t have a complaint against anyone in this book, not even the antagonists because they all work to prove a point.

They might constantly contradict each other to do so, but that is of little importance.

Isobel Martin, the deceased professor’s wife, helps our (not really) little green man to understand love and pain, as he comes to realize that one cannot exist without the other.

She helps him to appreciate the beauty in difference, and the truth that comes with pure emotion.

Their son, Gulliver Martin, on the surface is a whiny, defiant teenage rich boy who seemingly has nothing to complain about and yet still wants to kill himself.

Yet, it teaches both the reader and the protagonist not only about mental illness but also alludes to the search for happiness.

Through Gulliver, you learn that mental illness is not defined by material things and neither is happiness.

You learn to understand that all the money, knowledge, or prestige in the world cannot ever buy you happiness; because before coming to Earth, our Alien thought he was happy, but in reality, he had never known what happiness felt like because he had never known sadness.

Gulliver, like Isobel, is there to teach the Alien about the depth of emotion.

And then there’s Alien-Andrew, a precious cinnamon roll.

Throughout the book, we as readers can map the path of progression he takes during his change in perspective.

We see him go through terror, fear, and disgust to confusion, discovery and gradual if not reluctant acceptance.

We see him develop a conscience, and we see him as he discovers love. His development is so gradual and natural, it’s perhaps one of the most realistic shifts I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

And then there’s his personality, which I adore. He is so curious and eager to learn, and he is also the kindest and bravest character I’ve read about this year.

He makes mistakes, but he learns and does his best to correct them, and he is incredibly selfless though this may have been intentional to allow himself to experience pain.

All in all, you have to read the book to understand what I’m getting at, but you’ll adore him, that I can promise you.

Remember when I said I didn’t hate a single character in this book? I lied.

For starters, I despised Gulliver’s bullies, even though they only made a very brief appearance.

They were a contributing factor to his suicide ideation, and why? Because he was sensitive and momentarily vulnerable which made him an easy target. Because he was different.

I understand why they were necessary and so I can appreciate their purpose in the novel but they still made my blood boil.

Then there was Maggie. Now Maggie is the student whom the original Andrew Martin was having an affair with.

She made a very brief appearance and I mean it when I say brief but that doesn’t change the fact that I hated her for what she was doing.

I don’t take infidelity lightly and while it can be argued that both parties were at fault (the original Andrew), her actions cannot be justified in my opinion.

Thoughts:

How could I possibly put into words just how lovely this book is?

‘The Humans’ on the surface seems simplistic and overdone but hidden behind the humor and general enjoyment is a work of fiction that goes the extra step to explore the human condition.

Haig’s writing style is easy and enjoyable to follow, one could say that it’s almost addictive. I also like the fact that he kept his chapters short, with the longest chapter being about 7 or 8 pages long if memory serves.

The characters, even the minor ones, all work to serve a purpose, no one is there purely because they can be there.

This book is riddled with contradictions, for example:

Humans are violent but they can be kind. 

Humans are greedy but they can be charitable. 

Humans are shallow and yet they can love and be loved. 

Those are three examples that come to mind immediately, but there are many more littered throughout the book.

There is a purpose behind these contradictions, which is to showcase the complexity of human nature and to juxtapose the two perspectives of the races in this book; the humans and the Vonnadorians.

I think that Haig pulled this off rather well without tying himself up in knots and it worked to his advantage in achieving his goal for this novel.

The characters are well and truly what made this book the gem that it is, and there is not much else I can say to better explain my love for them.

I urge you to read this, not only because it’s amazing but it is also a good tool to understand the complexity of human character, and surprisingly enough, it holds an abundance of wisdom that anyone can apply in their lives.

Word of warning though: this book contains math and lots of it. For those of you who hate the sight of numbers, I suggest you brace yourselves.

My Favourite Quotes and Passages:

“This particular type of road was a motorway. A motorway is the most advanced type of road there is, which as with most forms of human advancement essentially meant accidental death was considerably more probable.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I have come to a planet where the most intelligent life form still has to drive its own cars…” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Soon, I told myself, I would understand what the heavily articulated greeting ‘get off the fucking road you fucking wanker’ actually meant.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“This was, I would later realise, a planet of things wrapped inside things. Food inside wrappers. Bodies inside clothes. Contempt inside smiles. Everything was hidden away.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Magazines are very popular, despite no human ever feeling better for having read them. Indeed, their chief purpose is to generate a sense of inferiority in the reader that consequently leads to them needing to buy something, which they do, and then feel even worse, and so need to buy another magazine to see what they can buy next. It is an eternal and unhappy spiral that goes by the name of capitalism and it is really quite popular.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I told myself that here all things were still made of atoms, and that those atoms would work precisely as atoms always do. They would move towards each other if there was distance between them. If there was no distance between them, they would repel each other. That was the most basic law of the universe, and it applied to all things, even here. There was comfort in that. The knowledge that wherever you were in the universe, the small things were always exactly the same. Attracting and repelling. It was only by not looking closely enough that you saw difference.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I had consumed, in capsule form, the famous travelogue The Fighting Idiots: My Time with the Humans of Water Planet 7,081.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“So, humans need to know about a book. Just as they need to know, when they apply for a job, if it will cause them to lose their mind at the age of fifty-nine and lead them to jump out of the office window. Or if, when they go on a first date, the person who is now making witticisms about his year in Cambodia will one day leave her for a younger woman called Francesca who runs her own public relations firm and says Kafkaesque without having ever read Kafka.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“(Flashing blue lights on Earth = trouble.)” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I am scared.

‘You have every right to be. You are among the humans.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“‘Now,’ she said, ‘I would like to start by asking you something very simple. I’m wondering if you’ve been under any pressure recently?’ I was confused. What kind of pressure was she talking about? Atmospheric? Gravitational? ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘A lot. Everywhere, there is some kind of pressure.’ It seemed like the right answer.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Mad people

“Humans, as a rule, don’t like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead. But the definition of mad, on Earth, seems to be very unclear and inconsistent. What is perfectly sane in one era turns out to be insane in another. The earliest humans walked around naked with no problem. Certain humans, in humid rainforests mainly, still do so. So, we must conclude that madness is sometimes a question of time, and sometimes of postcode. Basically, the key rule is, if you want to appear sane on Earth you have to be in the right place, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and only stepping on the right kind of grass.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“It was, of course, another test. Everything in human life was a test. That was why they all looked so stressed out.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘That’s all there is around here, isn’t it? Questions.’ Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘I suppose I just must have forgotten the importance of wearing clothes. That is, the importance of acting the way I was supposed to act. I don’t know. I must have just forgotten how to be a human. It can happen, can’t it? Things can be forgotten sometimes?’ Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“‘Schopenhauer?’

‘He wrote a book called The World as Will and Representation. I’m meant to be doing an essay on it. Basically it says that the world is what we recognise in our own will. Humans are ruled by their basic desires and this leads to suffering and pain, because our desires make us crave things from the world but the world is nothing but representation. Because those same cravings shape what we see we end up feeding from ourselves, until we go mad. And end up in here.’” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“So, I thought to myself as I walked away, this is what happens when you live on Earth. You crack. You hold reality in your hands until it burns and then you have to drop the plate. (Someone somewhere else in the room, just as I was thinking this, actually did drop a plate.) Yes, I could see it now – being a human sent you insane.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“2. The news was prioritised in a way I could not understand. For instance, there was nothing on new mathematical observations or still undiscovered polygons, but quite a bit about politics, which on this planet was essentially all about war and money. Indeed, war and money seemed to be so popular on the news it should more accurately be described as The War and Money Show. I had been told right. This was a planet characterised by violence and greed.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“if God exists then what is He but a mathematician?” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“They knew that if they could solve this they could advance in all kinds of ways, because prime numbers were the heart of mathematics and mathematics was the heart of knowledge.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“So, without so much as a second’s thought, I deleted the document, feeling a small rush of pride as I did so. ‘There,’ I told myself, ‘you may have just managed to save the universe.’ But of course, things are never that simple, not even on Earth.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“A prime number is strong. It does not depend on others. It is pure and complete and never weakens. You must be like a prime. You must not weaken, you must distance yourself, and you must not change after interaction. You must be indivisible.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘Glory is what motivates you. Ego. You want your name everywhere. Andrew Martin. Andrew Martin. Andrew Martin. You want to be on every Wikipedia page going. You want to be an Einstein. The trouble is, Andrew, you’re still two years old.’…….You want the world to know you. You want to be a great man.’ Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“As well as religion, human history is full of depressing things like colonisation, disease, racism, sexism, homophobia, class snobbery, environmental destruction, slavery, totalitarianism, military dictatorships, inventions of things which they have no idea how to handle (the atomic bomb, the Internet, the semi-colon), the victimisation of clever people, the worshipping of idiotic people, boredom, despair, periodic collapses, and catastrophes within the psychic landscape. And through it all there has always been some truly awful food.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“To be a human is to state the obvious. Repeatedly, over and over, until the end of time.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“The dog was in his basket. It went by the name of Newton.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“As green as knowledge.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I thought of the startling capacity for belief inherent in this species. Even before I had fully discovered the concepts of astrology, homeopathy, organised religion and probiotic yoghurts I was able to work out that what humans may have lacked in physical attractiveness, they made up for in gullibility. You could tell them anything in a convincing enough voice and they would believe it. Anything, of course, except the truth.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“After a while, with a dog on your lap, you realise there is a necessity to stroke it. Don’t ask me how this necessarily comes about. It clearly has something to do with the dimensions of the human upper body.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Human life, I realised, got progressively worse as you got older, by the sound of things. You arrived, with baby feet and hands and infinite happiness, and then the happiness slowly evaporated as your feet and hands grew bigger. And then, from the teenage years onwards, happiness was something you could lose your grip of, and once it started to slip it gained mass. It was as if the knowledge that it could slip was the thing that made it more difficult to hold, no matter how big your feet and hands were.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“What I am saying is that it takes time to understand humans because they don’t understand themselves. They have been wearing clothes for so long. Metaphorical clothes. That is what I am talking about. That was the price of human civilisation – to create it they had to close the door on their true selves. And so they are lost, that is how I understand it. And that is why they invented art: books, music, films, plays, painting, sculpture. They invented them as bridges back to themselves, back to who they are. But however close they get they are for ever removed.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“The truth is, you see, however much they would beg to disagree, humans don’t actually like to win. Or rather, they like winning for ten seconds but if they keep on winning they end up actually having to think about other things, like life and death. The only thing humans like less than winning is losing, but at least something can be done about that. With absolute winning, there is nothing to be done. They just have to deal with it.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Poetry seems to say a lot about us. You know, us humans.’” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“So, the equation: N = R x fp x ne x f^l x f^i x f^c x L

N was the number of advanced civilisations in the galaxy with whom communication might be possible. R was the average annual rate at which stars were formed. The fp was the fraction of those stars with planets. The ne was the average number of those planets that have the right eco-systems for life. The f^1 was the fraction of those planets where life would actually develop. The f^i was the fraction of the above planets that could develop intelligence. The f^c was the fraction of those where a communicative technologically advanced civilisation could develop. And L was the lifetime of the communicative phase. Various astrophysicists had looked at all the data and decided that there must, in fact, be millions of planets in the galaxy containing life, and even more in the universe at large. And some of these were bound to have advanced life with very good technology. This of course was true. But the humans didn’t just stop there. They came up with a paradox. They said, ‘Hold on, this can’t be right. If there are this many extraterrestrial civilisations with the ability to contact us then we would know about it because they would have contacted us.’ ‘Well, that’s true, isn’t it?’ said the male whose T-shirt started this detour. ‘No,’ I said. ‘No, it’s not. Because the equation should have some other fractions in there. For instance, it should have—’ I turned and wrote on the board behind me: f^cgas ‘Fraction who could give a shit about visiting or communicating with Earth.’ And then: f^dsbthdr ‘Fraction who did so but the humans didn’t realise.’” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“they kind of formed a prejudice in their head that aliens can only be enjoyed as fiction. Because if you believe in them as fact you are saying the thing that every unpopular scientific breakthrough in history has said.’ ‘Which is what? ‘That humans are not at the centre of things.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Because the possibility of pain is where love stems from. And that, for me, was very bad news indeed.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Life, especially human life, was an act of defiance. It was never meant to be, and yet it existed in an incredible number of places across a near-infinite amount of solar systems. There was no such thing as impossible. I knew that, because I also knew that everything was impossible, and so the only possibilities in life were impossibilities.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“You can interfere with my mind but you can’t control it.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“(I have to admit that humans waste a lot of their time – almost all of it – with hypothetical stuff. I could be rich. I could be famous. I could have been hit by that bus. I could have been born with fewer moles and bigger breasts. I could have spent more of my youth learning foreign languages. They must exercise the conditional tense more than any other known life form.)” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“I was drinking a cup of tea. I actually enjoyed tea. It was so much better than coffee. It tasted like comfort.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Social networking

“Essentially, social networking on Earth was quite limited. Unlike on Vonnadoria, the brain synchronisation technology wasn’t there, so subscribers couldn’t communicate telepathically with each other as part of a true hive mind. Nor could they step into each other’s dreams and have a walk around, tasting imagined delicacies in exotic moonscapes. On Earth, social networking generally involved sitting down at a non-sentient computer and typing words about needing a coffee and reading about other people needing a coffee, while forgetting to actually make a coffee. It was the news show they had been waiting for. It was the show where the news could be all about them. But on the plus side, human computer networks, I discovered, were preposterously easy to hack into as all their security systems were based on prime numbers. And so I hacked into Gulliver’s computer and changed the name of every single person on Facebook who had bullied Gulliver to ‘I Am the Cause of Shame’, and blocked them from posting anything with the word ‘Gulliver’ in it, and gave each of them a computer virus which I dubbed ‘The Flea’ after a lovely poem. This virus ensured the only messages they would ever be able to send were ones that contained the words ‘I am hurt and so I hurt’. On Vonnadoria I had never done anything so vindictive. Nor had I ever felt quite so satisfied.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“A leaf fell and landed on my lap. It was dead and brown. I held it and, quite out of character, felt a strange empathy. Maybe it was because now I was empathising with humans I could empathise with pretty much anything. Too much Emily Dickinson, that was the problem. Emily Dickinson was making me human. But not that human.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“The problem lying behind the lack of human fulfilment was a shortage not just of time but of imagination.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Isobel told me she had booked us tickets to see an avant-garde production of Hamlet at the Arts Theatre. It was apparently about a suicidal young prince who wants to kill the man who has replaced his father. ‘Gulliver is staying at home,’ said Isobel. ‘That might be wise.’” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“But a human, in its own small way, was a kind of miraculous achievement, in mathematical terms.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“It turned out that Hamlet was quite a depressing thing to watch when you had just given up immortality and were worried that someone was watching you.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“The point of love was to help you survive. The point was also to forget meaning. To stop looking and start living. The meaning was to hold the hand of someone you cared about and to live inside the present. Past and future were myths. The past was just the present that had died and the future would never exist anyway, because by the time we got to it the future would have turned into the present. The present was all there was. The ever-moving, ever-changing present. And the present was fickle. It could only be caught by letting go.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Laughter, I realised, was the reverberating sound of a truth hitting a lie. Humans existed inside their own delusions and laughing was a way out – the only possible bridge they had between each other.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘I’m an alien. I’m considered a useless failure in two galaxies.’ Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“In every life there is a moment. A crisis. One that says: what I believe is wrong. It happens to everyone, the only difference is how that knowledge changes them.”Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“The single biggest act of bravery or madness anyone can do is the act of change.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Advice for a human

“1. Shame is a shackle. Free yourself.

3. Be nice to other people. At the universal level, they are you.

5. Laugh. It suits you.

6. Be curious. Question everything. A present fact is just a future fiction.

9. Sometimes, to be yourself you will have to forget yourself and become something else. Your character is not a fixed thing. You will sometimes have to move to keep up with it.

13. You shouldn’t have been born. Your existence is as close to impossible as can be. To dismiss the impossible is to dismiss yourself.

14. Your life will have 25,000 days in it. Make sure you remember some of them.

15. The road to snobbery is the road to misery. And vice versa.

16. Tragedy is just comedy that hasn’t come to fruition. One day we will laugh at this. We will laugh at everything.

19. Read poetry. Especially poetry by Emily Dickinson. It might save you. Anne Sexton knows the mind, Walt Whitman knows grass, but Emily Dickinson knows everything.

21. Don’t bother going into space until you can leave the solar system. Then go to Zabii.

23. Happiness is not out here. It is in there.

25. There is only one genre in fiction. The genre is called ‘book’.

27. Dogs are geniuses of loyalty. And that is a good kind of genius to have.

29. If there is a sunset, stop and look at it. Knowledge is finite. Wonder is infinite.

30. Don’t aim for perfection. Evolution, and life, only happen through mistakes.

31. Failure is a trick of the light.

32. You are human. You will care about money. But realise it can’t make you happy because happiness is not for sale.

33. You are not the most intelligent creature in the universe. You are not even the most intelligent creature on your planet. The tonal language in the song of a humpback whale displays more complexity than the entire works of Shakespeare. It is not a competition. Well, it is. But don’t worry about it.

37. Don’t always try to be cool. The whole universe is cool. It’s the warm bits that matter.

38. Walt Whitman was right about at least one thing. You will contradict yourself. You are large. You contain multitudes.

39. No one is ever completely right about anything. Anywhere.

40. Everyone is a comedy. If people are laughing at you they just don’t quite understand the joke that is themselves.

41. Your brain is open. Never let it be closed.

43. Everything matters.

44. You have the power to stop time. You do it by kissing. Or listening to music. Music, by the way, is how you see things you can’t otherwise see. It is the most advanced thing you have. It is a superpower. Keep up with the bass guitar. You are good at it. Join a band.

46. A paradox. The things you don’t need to live – books, art, cinema, wine and so on – are the things you need to live.

48. No two moralities match. Accept different shapes, so long as they aren’t sharp enough to hurt.

53. Don’t ever be afraid of telling someone you love them. There are things wrong with your world, but an excess of love is not one.

57. There are a lot of idiots in your species. Lots and lots. You are not one of them. Hold your ground.

58. It is not the length of life that matters. It’s the depth. But while burrowing, keep the sun above you.

60. Obey your head. Obey your heart. Obey your gut. In fact, obey everything except commands.

61. One day, if you get into a position of power, tell people this: just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. There is a power and a beauty in unproved conjectures, unkissed lips and unpicked flowers.

63. It’s not the technique, it’s the method. It’s not the words, it’s the melody.

64. Be alive. That is your supreme duty to the world.

65. Don’t think you know. Know you think.

66. As a black hole forms it creates an immense gamma-ray burst, blinding whole galaxies with light and destroying millions of worlds. You could disappear at any second. This one. Or this one. Or this one. Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.

67. War is the answer. To the wrong question.

72. Most humans don’t think about things very much. They survive by thinking about needs and wants alone. But you are not one of them. Be careful.

73. No one will understand you. It is not, ultimately, that important. What is important is that you understand you.

75. Politeness is often fear. Kindness is always courage. But caring is what makes you human. Care more, become more human.

76. In your mind, change the name of every day to Saturday. And change the name of work to play.

79. Leonardo da Vinci was not one of you. He was one of us.

87. Dark matter is needed to hold galaxies together. Your mind is a galaxy. More dark than light. But the light makes it worthwhile.

88. Which is to say: don’t kill yourself. Even when the darkness is total. Always know that life is not still. Time is space. You are moving through that galaxy. Wait for the stars.

90. But know this. Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. Do not fall for categories. Everyone is everything. Every ingredient inside a star is inside you, and every personality that ever existed competes in the theatre of your mind for the main role.

91. You are lucky to be alive. Inhale and take in life’s wonders. Never take so much as a single petal of a single flower for granted.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Black holes, in other words, give clarity. You lose the warmth and fire of the star but you gain order and peace. Total focus.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“Because, as with a sunset, to be human was to be in-between things; a day, bursting with desperate colour as it headed irreversibly towards night.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

“To experience beauty on Earth you needed to experience pain and to know mortality. That is why so much that is beautiful on this planet has to do with time passing and the Earth turning. Which might also explain why to look at such natural beauty was to also feel sadness and a craving for a life unlived.” Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

‘Dogs are better than human beings because they know but don’t tell.’ Haig, Matt. The Humans . HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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