Archive for October 19th, 2010


October 19, 2010

My class is currently dealing with the question of what it means to be human.  Here are a few thoughts on the matter.

Experience: As humans, we experience a wide range of sensory material.  Some of these exposures are pleasant, some are distinctly unpleasant.  We have control over some things that we encounter, other things are beyond our control.  All experiences contribute to who we are as a person.

Emotions: All humans have emotions, but all humans do not have the same range, or depth,  of emotions.  This is neither good nor bad, it simply is true.  We may try to will our emotions, but generally, they are an uncontrolled response to our current experiences or thoughts.

Thoughts: All humans think, although some more rationally than others.  We have the ability to direct our thoughts.  We can train ourselves to think clearly and rationally.  We can also allow ourselves to simply follow flights of fancy, thinking only of things that were, or could be, or even could never be.  Our thought life is our own to manage.

Expression: The things that we say and do are what other people see.  They do not know our experiences, emotions, or thoughts unless they are able to see them somehow expressed in what we say, or do.  There is a saying that actions speak louder than words, but I wouldn’t underestimate the power of the spoken word.  Sometimes we speak or act as a reflex to what we have experienced, sometimes as an expression of our feelings, and sometimes after careful thought.  It is good to train ourselves to speak and to act in such a way that we will not be sorry when we think about it later.

These are just a few thoughts about what we share as humans, no matter what our race, religion, politics, or anything else.