I am human, and I consider nothing human alien to me.
Homo sum : humani nihil a me alienum puto
Publius Terentius Afer (195/185–159 BC)
Terence the Niger (African writer in early Rome)
Around two hundred years before Jesuschrist, the roman thinker Terence the Niger configured in abstract terms that part in common that all human beings share.
Personally, I have felt those words as a constant throughout my entire life. I was born from Spanish and Mexican grandparents in Mexico. My Indian and European roots have anchored and seduced me equally: I am in love with the western civilization but I am fascinated about the achievements of the pre-Colombian civilizations which origins can be traced to China: I have been influenced by the Judeo-christian humanist current at the same time that I have been attracted by the ethical aspects of the oriental philosophy of integration, harmony and non-violence. Moreover I have lived for many years in a parallel fashion both in United States and in Mexico: (together, they are my big country.)
Before last Christmas I was able to rationalize intellectually and in a very abstract fashion the eclectic nature of my cultural attractions, but now I have concrete proof that indeed nothing human is alien to me.
Last year I started the research I need to write a book based on the history of my family, and this in turn moved me to request an ancestral analysis of my DNA, Those type of analysis are one of the most interesting advances that science made in the XXI first century -although its basic ideas come from the XX Th- and are made based on the genetic roots of each individual.
When I received the results they confirmed several facts which I new or I suspected, but found many others which were a complete surprise to me.
I discover that my ancestral roots are found not only in Mexico and Spain, as I believed: they extend basically to the entire world. I am a true mongrel, from top to bottom, with a mixture of genes and races which come from all over the earth: through my veins runs the genes of the native Indians of America, as much as the genes of the Spanish that defeated them and seduced them to create new races (that means me) : I have in me African genes, as well as genes from the English and the Jews, and even from Russians, Mongolian and Chinese.
The percentages of my genetic analysis are as follows:
I have a 63% European genes (Iberia 38%, Italian/Greek 8%, West European 7%, Great Britain 7%, Finland y Northwest of Russia < 1% , Ireland < 1% )
I have 24% American genes (American native Indians)
I have 4% of African genes (from the Mahgreb which is Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco).
7% is Semite (from European Jews and from the Middle East)
1% is Caucasian
1% is Asian
That is to say, my genes comes from almost every part of the world.
My roots that are directly Jewish, as I discovered independently, are from Sephardi Jews, and they come from my mother's side. Accordingly to the records kept and published by Sephardim.com, the last names Dávila and Alfaro are from Sephardi origin. The last name of my mother was Dávila (from her own mother). The last name of my grandfather was Alfaro (from his own mother)
I am a true mutt.
This confirms gratifyingly what I had already suspected: it confirms that when Plato described the citizens of his Republic, he was describing me. And when Jesus expulsed the merchants from the temple, he was talking for me and expressing my anger. When Buddha described a form to end suffering though knowledge, he was protecting me. When Martin Luther King talked on the steps of Washington about leading his people to the mountaintop, he was guiding me also. They all are talking to me because I am equally part of them in a concrete fashion, not as an abstract concept: they all are my people in a direct line. Their beliefs and their historical luck are mine, from the ambition to control nature that is part of the western philosophy, to the oriental desire to integrate with that same nature. When the Jews cry in the welling wall, their tears are mine, and when the Palestine claim for a land of their own, their claim is also mine. When the Chinese invented the paper and the printing ´press and the firing powder, their achievements are mine, equally as is mine the entire scientific structure from which came the industrial revolution of the XIX century, and particularly the digital revolution from the end of the XX century.
Indeed I am proud to say that nothing human is alien to me.
Because, in other words, everything human belongs to me. And that makes me feel like one of the richest men on earth.
Florida, May 2015