I went to log into my blog today, and after the typical username and password, it asked me a final question: to prove my humanity.
My mind reeled with the possibilities: my love for my children, my wife and I’s first kiss, the tears at my father’s funeral, the sandwich I bought the homeless man down the street, the money I send to poor children in a country I’ve never been to who speak a language I’ve never heard. I thought of the articles I’ve written on love and kindness the meals I’ve shared with friends, family and, on occasion, strangers. I thought of the angst ridden, tortured essays I wrote as a teen and the uncompromising joy of watching first my son and then my daughter walk. I thought of my time in the peace corp and the weekends I’ve given up building houses for those who cannot afford their own. And then I thought of the greed and selfishness and lust that had left their marks on my life. The infantile pranks I’ve played and the tears my taunts have brought forth from social pariahs. The day I broke up with my college girlfriend of three years, not because I didn’t love her, but because I somehow thought that she was holding me back. That I could do better. I thought of the day I wept with my wife over a miscarriage and the days I had yet to come where I’d be cleaning up puke and blood off the bathroom floor. The day I watched my nephew die. I looked at the sum of my life its depth and vibrancy, its foolishness and hubris, and anger and failure. Then I looked at the screen and it asked me to add 2 and 2.
Clearly no robot could answer this question, nothing inhuman could plumb the depths of their psyche to find the answer, and no machine built on the premise of adding numbers together could fathom this ruse. I thought for a moment then typed ‘5’ and hit Log In
It did not let me in.