“Being human is given. But keeping our humanity is a choice.” – Unknown
What is it to be human? What does it mean to have humanity?
There are so many ideas of what it means to be human when we are talking about it in a non-anatomical sense but I believe that most would agree that when we talk about being human we are talking about having a benevolent and compassionate nature that cares for and respects life whether it be plant, animal or human. But above all, it is my belief that being truly human is not just about respecting life but about valuing life above all else.
In the West, I feel we have become so out of touch with what it is to be truly human as well as forgetful of the value of the human and of all life on this planet. We have become so preoccupied with making money and things of a material nature that we have forgotten what our priorities should be. It seems that we have failed to distinguish between what is important and unimportant in the long term. Material goods will satisfy us temporarily as will power and status gained by wealth but the earth, ecosystems and animal kingdom are integral to the survival of the human race. Furthermore, it is clear that since we have become out of touch with our humanity we have created a system that does not prioritise the welfare of the human above money. I feel that it is time to start reengaging with our humanity and valuing the human and life on our planet above things that really don’t matter in the long term like the consumerism, wealth and money.
In recent years, the researcher and author David Icke has been ridiculed for many of his claims, however he does make some very interesting observations on the nature of our society. He says, “The system isn’t serving us, we’re serving it”. I feel that this is particularly true when we consider how much our society is geared towards making money and keeping the consumer economy going. If we think about it carefully our whole lives are taken up by working to earn money to pay for food and shelter so that we may live comfortably. But how is humanity benefiting from this? Why have we created a system where we need money to get the most basic of necessities? Going further, it is because of this constant need to make money and need to keep the economy going that our actions show such little respect for human life and for our earth. For example, although politicians would never like to admit it, many wars are resourced based which of course means that due to financial interests many humans die. Moreover, economic interests have lead to deforestation, pillaging of the environment and extinction and endangerment of many animals.
When did money become more important than humans or the environment and how can we remedy this lack of humanity in our society?
I believe we can look to indigenous cultures in countries such as North America, South America and Australia for inspiration. Tribes such as the Kogi in Columbia, the Hopi in Arizona and the Aboriginal tribes in Australia all share a deep respect for the earth and all its inhabitants, human and animal as they believe all nature is sacred and value no thing higher than the earth. I believe we can look to these indigenous peoples to understand again what it is to be human and to again realise what matters.
We need to reconnect again with the earth and with each other, to realise again the beauty of both. Humans can be greedy, selfish and uncompassionate creatures but we can also be the most innovative, creative, beautiful, clever and amazing creatures that ever walked on the face of the earth. Humans are both beautiful and flawed at the same time but this I feel is the essence of humanity. It is time to value the human and that which is natural. If we can look inside ourselves and again remember our own humanity and then we will be able to see and appreciate the humanity of others.
What does mean to be human for you? How do you express your humanity with others? I would be very pleased to read your comments about this beautiful subject.
Arabella Lumley graduated from St Mary’s University College with a bachelor’s degree in English and History. She is an active researcher in the fields of politics, consciousness and science, meditation and ancient history. By bringing awareness through information, her goal is to help humanity understand the power within themselves and assist in the transition that is now occurring. You contact her on twitter.