There is a crisis. We are heading toward extinction. We have to find harmonious ways of surviving and thriving on this small planet of ours. We need a foundation point from which we can build a future for our planet.
We have separated mind from body, we have separated ourselves from nature, we continue to separate ourselves from others. We are becoming technological beings, rapidly moving out of the mechanistic ways fostered by the industrial revolution (which, is at last coming to an end). Our technology is close to becoming physically embedded. We are very close to developing true artificial intelligence. Quantum computing is imminent. ALL the guiding institutions of society (civilisation) are no longer trusted. All of these raise an issue, the question…..
WHAT IS IT TO BE HUMAN?
This is a conversation I had with a friend of mine earlier in the week, as we reclined in beanbag chairs, sipping tea out of giant mugs. It definitely made me think.
From my point of view, the development of society has led to a paralyzing obsession with what’s on the surface. The outer shell that encases our soul has become the most important aspect of ourselves. We must be the leanest, most hairless, most symmetrical versions of ourselves to achieve any semblance of success. Is that what it means to be human now? To have an all-consuming fascination with the way you’re perceived?
I asked the question in a few of my favourite Facebook groups: what does it mean to “be human”?
Overwhelmingly, the answers seemed to be pretty similar. Almost everyone that responded said that it’s kindness, compassion and humility that sets us apart; it’s knowing the difference between “could” and “should”, and acting accordingly.
But do you know what? I kind of disagree. I don’t think being human is about being right, or being nice. I think it’s about having the choice. What sets us apart from every other being on Earth, is the notion of free will. We’re not driven simply by biological urges; we’re not tethered to a particular land formation; we’re not programmed to follow a specific formula.
We have the choice.
We can choose to obsess about the way we look, or we can choose to focus on the interior. We can choose to be lovely, or we can choose to be ruthless. We can vote for who we believe in. We can choose to have pink hair, or drink tequila ‘til dawn. We can choose to live in a house filled with cats. We can choose what to devote our lives to. We can even choose our own gender.
Never before have we, as beings, had such freedom. So articulate what you want, and start walking towards it. That is being human.
Being Human Matters is a foundation for creating dialogues, businesses and products that serve the needs of the survival of our small planet and ALL who call it home. Being Human Matters is a movement that will endorse and support any positive ways for people to take responsibility for our impact and effect. Being Human Matters is a consideration for all aspects of how we live breath and behave. Martin Knox and Toni Esberger (co-founders of Being Human Matters) are looking for 1,000,000 responses to this critical question.
So what does “being human” mean to you? Have your say over on Twitter #beinghumanmatters.
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