What Does it Mean to be Human?

I was listening to a song the other day on the radio.  It is a song by Christina Perri and the song is called Human.  The lyrics that stand out is the line that says “But I’m only human.”  This got me thinking, what does it mean to be human?  Do we even know what it means anymore?

Being human once meant that we stopped and helped a stranger in need.  Sometimes we would put our own safety aside for the safety of others.  We would stop by our neighbors house and check on them, because there were only you and the neighbor for 5 miles.  When someone new moved into the neighborhood, we would go welcome them and get to know them.  At one point, no one was a stranger, because no one gave them time to be a stranger.

But did this make us human?

Now days we fly by a woman stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire because “we don’t have time.”  People will walk by a child who seems to be wandering around without their parent.  I have lived in the same place for 11 years and I don’t know a single neighbor, and they live a few feet away from me.  I meet strangers everyday and avoid eye contact in case they try to talk to me.

Does this make us human?

Again I ask the question, do we even know what it means to be human?

It seems that human has become the word for cruelty.  The definition of human is flesh and blood, with great minds that are used to destroy the few good things we have in this life.

I am not saying that every person is evil, but we seem to have lost our backbones.  We have become a world of invisible bubbles.  We try our best not to get close to one another and we avoid eye contact.  Some people walk around with headphones covering their ears as a “do not disturb” sign.

You see stories everyday about animals who help other animals, or animals who seem more human then people.  It seems that long ago we decided that the word human meant kindness, trust, reliable, and love.  We have lost something over the years.  When an animal is called more human than a human…maybe we should really rethink what we are doing with our lives.  Maybe we should start being more like animals.  The animals who will risk their lives to save their human owner, or the animals that risk their lives to save one another.  You see the stories all the time about how great animals are.  I am tired of seeing stories of great animals.

Our newspapers and magazines should be flooded with great people!  Not criminals.  We should hear about people who pulled over and helped a single mother change a tire so she can get her sick kid to the doctor.  We should hear stories about people who sat with an old lady because she had no family to help her when she fell.

Yeah, we hear those stories sometimes.  But we should hear them everyday.  When people think of humans we think of criminals.  Killers and rapist.  We think of the mothers who kill their kids and the fathers who leave their families.  The world is so full of hate and it’s all because of people.

Maybe we should stop being such humans and become animals…because right now the animals are the only ones holding on to hope, love, and kindness.  Where is our courage?


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