What Does It Mean To Be Human?
What does it mean to be human? That was the question my young cousin asked me. It was for a school assignment of his – what an assignment. And what a question.
First I reframed the question, but then I answered it below. To what extent do you agree with what I’ve written, and what is your answer?
I think the proper question is, what does it mean TO ME to be human? My answer to that:
TO ME it means to exist and realise our best possible form of ourselves. To truly express and accept who we are in the context of the world, or universe, at large.
It means to be flawed.
To develop and grow up imperfect, because of how complex we are psychologically and socially, no one can grow up perfect. Everyone picks up defects along the way. To be truly human is to live an intentional life despite those defects. To rise over and conquer them. To live meaningfully anyway, despite challenges.
The best expression and version of ourselves I believe, at time of writing, is to be found in self-transcendence.
Of thinking and caring about more than just ourselves, but extending the idea we have of ourselves beyond one body that is roaming around, to include all living things.
To be human to me means being given a gift.
And then, we are observed and evaluated based on what we do with that gift. Whether we hide it from the world, whether we ignore it and stash it away. Because hiding our gifts from the world is not human.
To be human means to live with the intention the universe gives us.
I believe forces far outside our awareness, be they God or whatever else, do exist, and try to push us along a certain pathway, a pathway toward a unique discovery, a pathway to the best use of our gifts. To surrender to self-transcendence, we must follow this course.
To be human means to struggle.
To feel things. To experience things, good and bad. To take it all on the chin, and continue. To live a journey… not live after a journey, not what comes at the end, but to make that journey about the journey.
I think being human means to pause, and to be human.
To take in the world around us and see things for what they truly are, and not what we imagine them to be. To see deep down, into the truth, and come face to face with reality.