As part of a special blog tour, hosted by Andrew at PewterWolf, here is my take on the question: What Makes Us Human? Check out Andrew’s post to see who else is taking part in the tour and their post dates!
What makes us human?
It’s a BIG question with many possible answers from the biological to spiritual. How do you even go about answering a question like this without going off on a rabbit-warren like tangent?
I’ve been thinking about this question for weeks now and writing and rewriting my reply and I’m still not sure I’ve got it right.
I’ve always been a ‘silver lining’ kind of person. I’m the one sat in the broken down car in the pouring rain thinking, “At least the view is nice and now I’ve got some quiet time to read.” I truly believe that we have to approach life with a glass half full attitude because it makes the world become a more wonderful place to exist in.
Yes, there are some awful things that happen and horrid people that go about causing heartache but if that’s all we take from this life, this human existence, then what’s the point in living at all? We have to champion those small moments of gold in life so we can keep going. Keep trying.
I’m no stranger to heartache and woes and I know that even getting out of bed can be a heavy burden to bear some days but if we let that be the moment that defines us, we’ve been wasting our time on this little blue planet.
I think humanity’s greatest skill is our ability to stare the bad stuff square in the eye and give it the finger instead. We only need to look at the recent tragedies in Paris to see how, when confronted with true horror, humanity can turn around and say “We shall not be defeated.” That might not make us definitely human, but it is what makes us great as human beings. We would give our last pennies to charity to help other people. When we have nothing, we still give our time and a shoulder to lean on. How wonderful is that as a notion?
And it’s a notion that we pass on to the next generations. How many times do we see small children sharing out their sweeties with a friend who has none? Ok, perhaps not a perfect example but it does happen. I see it everyday at work when I’m selling kids candy all the time. I’ve even had young kids offer me some of their sweets because I was nice to them.
I think what makes us human is when our humanity is challenged or shaken up at bit. It’s when times are hard that we truly show ourselves and I think that if we do a little of that every day, it would be a much nicer world to live in. Say Thank You to the lady behind the counter and add a Have a Nice Day too. Help someone out by holding open a door when they’re up to their eyeballs in bags. Take a moment to really listen to someone when they’re talking to you. Be nice.
See the silver lining and appreciate it. It’ll really annoy some people but don’t let them stop you. You’ll be the one smiling at the end of the day.
I’ll leave you with this musical gem that captures a little of what I’m saying and it’s from the mind of someone who championed the idea that we have to see the good in the world in order to make it great: