Daniel Moore was one of the 16 sailors who went down with the USS Monitor. A former slave from Virginia, he enlisted in the Navy but would sadly have little time to enjoy his freedom before sacrificing his life in the service of his country.
Moving into 2012, we have renewed opportunities to manifest vital aspects of our humanity. Delivering aid to the needy, helpless and downtrodden is not just the right thing to do, it's an important aspect of how we're wired.
We're not the only girls in the animal kingdom who fall for the wrong guys, strategize about finding 'Mr. Right' and occasionally fend off the advances of unwelcome suitors. Like many other ladies, from beetles to chickens to dolphins, we're generally the 'choosy' sex.
Thomas Joice (who sometimes went by Joyce) was one of the 16 men who went down with the USS Monitor on Dec. 31, 1862. Some years ago, I researched him for a documentary and have continued to look into his past from time to time.
Darwinian narratives of "survival of the fittest" and mechanistic Newtonian physics are increasingly being seen as elements of a far greater and richer tapestry. Compassion and empathy seem to be hard-wired into us.