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  • Noa Miller

If You Were a Robot...

"If I were a robot...


If you are reading this, chances are you are a real, live, thinking, feeling human. You have preferences, you make choices, you feel joy, jealousy, love, loneliness, wonder and worry.

I’ve met some humans who worry about their weight. Some dream of being thinner, and some fear that if they satisfy their hunger they will blow up like a balloon.

“Tell us what to eat. Give us a food plan. Save us from the folly of food and the bane of our bodies,” they plea.

I ask them, “Are you a robot?”

“If you are a robot, you could program yourself to eat the exact quantity that we would determine for your body mass - no sweat.”

“If you are a robot, you could delete all the chocolate and cheesecake from your life and still feel just as robot-like as ever.”

“If you are a robot, you can eat the same thing every day– hey, battery juice would do the trick - you wouldn’t have to eat at all.”

“No!” they interject. “We are human.”

"Human? How wonderful! But, oh! How hard. It is hard to be human."

"Since you are human, please do not measure, weigh and count your food, unless you want to become obsessed or burnt out from the process."

"Since you are human, please do not cut out chocolate and cheesecake from your diet unless you want to dream about those delicious things all day, and eat them in the closet all night."

"Since you are human, please do not eat the same safe food every day unless you want to make yourself miserable from monotony."

It would be so much easier to eat if we were all robots. But it would also be joyless. Being human is a complex and messy business, but I've never seen a robot dream.

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