I recently had my DNA tested to find out about where my ancestors may have scattered their genes over the centuries. The news was enlightening, a bit disturbing but also pleasing.
It became crystal clear that I am a mixed breed, which led me to the dictionary where the word mongrel appeared. Now mongrel is not a word I would normally use to describe myself or others. In fact, mongrel conjures up a picture of a disheveled dog, roaming streets unattended, and being unruly, somewhat wild, unkempt and scruffy.
I think of mongrels always as dogs…not cats, not people, not birds, just dogs. I’ve known that mongrels didn’t just apply to dogs, but my mental image was of a pitiful and perhaps scary canine. And I would guess most people have the same visual interpretation.
However, Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition for mongrel reads:
- an individual resulting from the interbreeding of diverse breeds or strains; especially : one of unknown ancestry
- a cross between types of persons or things
- a person or thing of mixed origin
Thus, I am a mongrel, as probably most of us are. I am a result of interbreeding of diverse breeds, with some unknown ancestry; I am a person of mixed origins and I am a cross between various types of people. Yep, my gene pool means I display tendencies of being wild, unruly, unkempt, and sometimes quite pitiful.
This realization explains so much about me, and allows excuses for my odd and often erratic behavior. Remember, I’m a mongrel.
And the news about humans being mongrels has another positive aspect and may explain why we live so long. Merriam-Webster notes:
mongrels often suffer fewer health problems than purebreds,
and that, my friends, is a good thing, a really, good thing.
Thanks to Linda Hill for the recent jusjojan daily prompt of Mongrel.