What Makes Us Human?

Ah, yes. Be human. I hear people saying that an awful lot. Be transparent. Be genuine. Be real. Be human.

What does that mean, exactly?

I’ve had occasion to think about that a great deal of late. So what does it mean?


Is it acting irrationally when your heart aches?
Is it feeling remorseful for those actions?
Is it pulling a child out of harm’s way, even though you might sacrifice “journalistic integrity”? (Hat tip to Anderson Cooper)
Is it laughing too loudly, though it might be socially unacceptable?
Is it feeling annoyed when people make mistakes?
Is it taking a deep breath and helping them correct those mistakes?
Is it shedding a tear when a friend is in pain?
Is it shedding more when you realize that you can’t help?
Is it the capacity to love … no matter what?

The answer to each of these questions is, of course, YES. As humans, sometimes we make mistakes. We sometimes behave irrationally. But we do so because we’re human. We’re imperfect. And that’s a good thing.

In Social Media, being “human” is all the buzz. What I think this means is that we should all just be ourselves. We shouldn’t “auto-do” everything (people can smell a ‘bot a mile away). We should make it personal. We shouldn’t try to mold ourselves into shapes that someone else is looking for. If we do that, we’re only hurting ourselves.

In life, we should do the same. Laugh hard and often. Cry when we need to. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Most of all, love. Do it without fear. Love passionately and without regret. If we can’t, we’re not human.

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