Ryann Summers

Ryann Summers


Our What if? essay series encourages you to embark on philosophical adventures more frequently and motivates you to regularly push past the boundaries of conventional thought.

This open-ended thought experiment is participatory and accessible to everyone.

To find out more about it and how you can submit an essay, please visit:

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Ryann Summers lives in Boston and works in foreign language publishing. She is an advocate for social justice, and created a new community project that explores the healing power of artistic expression. 


Follow her @healingisanart


What if? by Ryann Summers

What if every human was so different they couldn’t be grouped at all? No races could be similar enough to constitute a race, no physical features to split us, carve us, group us, divide us. Or if we were separated by sparkling designs on the sides of our fingers or how many ears we had or the shape of our canines? Or we didn’t have fingers, or ears, or canines. So indistinguishable, in fact, that our appreciation for the aesthetic had absolutely nothing to do with ourselves – it’s all external now. We can appreciate nature, art, but we can’t judge ourselves. It’s all external now.

What if when we were cut, scraped, and bruised, we never healed? It would just add to the landscape, this life tapestry, and we would be marred by the end like bad bananas.

What if there was a common enemy that united all of earth so that our indistinguishable banana-selves felt this overwhelming pride, this unity in the face of a new “other”? Instead of countries, towns, genders, races, haves and have-nots, the educated and the whiling, it would be US! Earth! Anyone bearing even slightly Earth-like resemblance is now brother, sister. The nuclear family is imploding, exploding! The cracked and sludgey, sick and overwrought, tired, tired assignment of identities would just slow – It could slow and slow and finally stop and lay down its ugly head.

What if?



Published: September 17th, 2013

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