Will Wilkinson ponders our place in the animal kingdom:

[W]e aren’t like naked mole rats, or bees, or ants. We’re the hypersocial animal that, every now and then, needs some “me time”, that slams its bedroom door and screams “Why can’t you just leave me alone!” at its mom. Mole rats don’t walk off the job because they feel humiliated by the boss. No bee on with a backpack and Eurail pass ever burdened a Moleskine with the immortal line: “What am I looking for? Probably myself.” 

In humanity, there is personhood. And in personhood, there is separateness, and our separateness is important to us.

This is surely the flipside to Brooksism. In America especially, where the wilderness has always beckoned to the adventurer, the individual endures.

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