A Brief Essay on Human Culture
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I often walk down the halls of my site and hear various people discussing how familiar some of the anomalies in our care are. Creatures and beasts that spark the imagination, reminding people of stories they heard growing up. It's true, honestly- a non insignificant number of anomalies in the Foundation's care are creatures and concepts that are familiar to the general public as they have a place in human legends and folklore. The question that normally follows is why? Why is the public allowed to effectively know that these creatures exist? These are anomalies, things that go against the natural order of the world and by all means should be hidden away and never heard of again. The Foundation has the means to effectively wipe all knowledge of these entities away from the general public's subconscious, so why doesn't this happen?

Webster defines "culture" as "The customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group." Culture is who we are as people, and it is unique to every single person. It is informed by your lived experiences- where you come from, how you were raised, everything you've gone through in life helps to shape your personal culture and identity and in turn your culture and identity shapes that of others around you. Culture is how we as humans create a unified understanding of how we interact with one another and the world around us. It creates our beliefs, our customs, our understanding, and so forth.

So what does this have to do with anomalies?

Once again, if you look through our files you'll see familiar names and descriptions. Creatures iconic to various cultures from around the world, from the South American Ya-Te-Veo to Chinese Dragons. Truly, nearly every mythical beast either is real or was real at some point. Our stories come from a place of truth, so why does the general public keep these stories?

Culture is a multifaceted thing. Each of these creatures plays a role in our culture. It's well known that humans have been telling stories since they first learned to communicate with each other, basing these tales on the world around them. The crackling thunder was a furious god, and the beast with red eyes was something to be feared. These stories created understanding, and they became tales of morality and lessons to internalize.

To answer the question I keep hearing, "why don't we just eliminate them from the public's memory?" Simple- in doing so we would fundamentally lose a piece of who we are a humans. We would lose the stories that shaped us as people and helped us understand the world around us. Our culture, our identity, would be fundamentally changed. These stories have their place in inspiring awe and fear in us, and as a result there's no way to remove it without fundamentally changing what it means to be human.

And besides, isn't it nice for the world to feel a little more magical?

~Dr. Faran Caraway

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