“He’s only human,” we say. Imagine the circumstance where we’d say something like that– he has just done something, and that something was something weak.
Is that, though, what it means to be human? To be fallible?
You might not’ve thought very highly of Starship Troopers the movie, but both the movie and the book (the book was very different, and very excellent might I add) had an interesting idea: you need to earn your citizenship. You aren’t born a citizen. You have to earn it. That means that you need to do something for the collective that demonstrates your worthiness of the benefits of humanity. Starship Troopers revolved around people who chose to earn their citizenship through enlisting in the military.
If I suggested their was a difference between life and death, most of you would probably agree if you weren’t being nitpicky.
If I suggested there was a difference between being alive and living, you might wonder if I was getting at something.
If I suggested that there was a difference between existing and living, then we’re getting a bit closer, but still, we’re playing with semantecs.
But to put it flatly, there’s a difference between living in our biological, electrical, chemical sense, and living, in the poetic, philosophical, emotional, faliable and ‘otherwise’ sense.
We really have no control over whether or not we’re born. Being here to write/read this, I/you am/are just a result of causality (or victim, either in progress or inevitably, depending on how cynical you want to be). Being born is usually the last time that your options are truly taken away from you until the day that you die.
So, by default, you are biologically, electrically, chemically, alive. You are functional. You had no part in making that happen.
You do, however, have a large part in how you live poetically, philosophically, faliablely, emotionally, ‘otherwisely.’
I mentioned several times that I hate running. I really do. I understand that I need to do it for my cardio though, which is why occasionally I go on binges to get my body on a scheduled grind.
People talk about fate all the time, as if it’s out of control. Fate is, however, perfectly in your control. It’s causality– if you add 1 and 1, you will arrive at a total of 2. Fate is something that’s chained to you. It will always be with you, the same distance away. However, it can change shape, depending on your choices.
Time is something important. If you run fast, goes with you just as quickly. If you go slow, likewise does fate. You are, in a sense, Fate’s pace-bunny.
Unlike running in real life, running metaphorically from your fate is futile– better to change it to something you like than to try and escape it.
“I still call her ‘it’ as well,” admits my cousin, holding up her one month old baby and staring at her with a mock look of ferocity. The baby ignores her. “Until she learns to take orders, it’s not a she yet. Right now, she’s a food to poop processor.”
What does it mean to be human then?
On one hand, when we say, “she’s only human” it usually implies someone showed some weakness. On the other hand, a “humanitarian” is someone who does some good for people. And we revere the “humanity” in us as something related to mercy and kindness.
Yet what is human, really, is something that evades, maybe rightfully so– pointing or even poking myself in the face just makes me feel silly and doesn’t help me understand anything.
People often ask eachother or themselves where they’re going with their lives.
We are all human… but we don’t always know it. So we seek out the things that will make us laugh and cry, bleed and grow… so that we can feel human.
So this is all a play on words but because we are what we are, I think it’s necessary that we do just that– play. Or at least things like that. I mean, we have to do more than just exist.
The poetic sense of being human comes after the biological one.
I think it’s sorta imperative that we go about ways to make ourselves more human than we are, simply biologically. I’m talking about the way we treat others.
Who I am is who I am, but how did I get to here?
It’s through all the acts of good and bad that people have done for me, and that I’ve done also. It all just adds up.
I think that whether we do good or bad doesn’t totally matter in the end, because those are really just a question of deciding what your values are. Any sense of morality is really just values. I agree that morality (at least my sense of it) is one of my values, but I disagree that morality is fundamental. It is at most an evolved system of values for satisfying the more common concepts of good and bad.
But who I am, really, is all about experience. The things that I’ve taken into me. That’s it, that’s all.
There are certain events that made me less human– those were the things that made me die a bit on the inside because I lost faith in things. But, what keeps me going is the life that made me human, and that is the collective of everything else that’s happened.
People tell me I just can’t sit still…
…what kind of life would that be though?
I’m not saying don’t stop and smell the roses. But if you’ve been sitting in the rose garden long enough, it might be time to head out and see what else is out there and get more of a life.
“He’s only human,” we say when someone wrongs someone, and we try to rationalize that hurtful act as something being the result of their upbringing, their circumstance, their emotional state, what have you.
But it’s not that humanity is equivalent with wrongdoing or anything negative– it’s that humanity is equivalent with experience.
If he was a robot, we wouldn’t have a problem, right? In a world full of math, there’d be no conflicts if all the systems agreed and were self perpetuating.
But we are human. “He’s only human” is really like saying “that’s life,” and really, it kinda is because it’s all these experiences through the imperfect process of living that characterize humanity.
Whether you failed or excelled, hurt or were hurt, went left or right, confessed (even love!) or remained silent, said yes or no…
It’s a grab bag! All those things in life are what make you human.
I do feel sad though for those who don’t do anything. I don’t really know why they annoy me so much, it’s totally beyond reason.