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What does it mean to be human?
When confronted with the life story of Mother Teresa, my inner being is touched and I tend to think highly of what it means to be human. Conversely, when the narrative of Adolf Hitler, the Second World War, and the Holocaust as Sardone (2019) posits come to mind, I dread at the fact that human beings can at times digress into becoming worse than beasts. Without a doubt, I believe to the point of an immovable conviction that Mother Teresa was human and a beautiful beacon of what it means to be human. This is based on the fact that she positively influenced the lives of many around her, in her society, and indeed, transforming the cultural way of the way things were done around her (Khuc & Vuong, 2020). On the other hand, it suffices to opine that Hitler was inhuman given that being human revolves about being humane (Sardone, 2019). However, these two notable individuals were members of the expansive, diverse, and dynamic human race. They influenced aspects of being human as told through history and literature, practiced through religion, expressed through music and art, and expounded upon through philosophical treatises and language.
Being human entails how people in a given society tend to interact with their environment (Ryan, 2019). Looking at peoples of the Indus Valley who blossomed to populate the Indian continent, one gets to appreciate the dynamic aspects of being human, being human meant that they manipulated their surroundings to cultivate food, rear livestock, live with wild animals in their environment and in some instances tame them with the aim of making work easier. Being human means that people have the capacity to influence their environment (Ryan, 2019). Positive influences result in a thriving ecosystem which in turn cultivates the development of cultural attributes that exhibit respect and the call to nurture nature.
Being human appertains to how people from different cultures regard one another and work towards oneness as opposed to divisiveness. There is diversity in the manner of human beings alive and living on planet earth (Ryan, 2019). Each people in a different geographic settings are by reason of how they interact with their environment different from those of other regions. Regardless of such differences, each wants the same thing, to live and thrive. When two or more diverse cultures confront one another, they interact and engage towards a sense oneness that ensures they are able to thrive (Ryan, 2019). The opposite of being human brings about the insanity of way which if it ever came to a nuclear conflict would result in the total collapse of the human race.
Being human means being able to adapt to change. This ability has resulted in human beings residing as well as thriving in every possible expanse on the planet (Khuc & Vuong, 2020). Globalization is testament to this fact. For instance, an American expatriate can move to China of a professional assignment that may subject to them living in the new geographical expanse for a decade. The outcome is the American adapting to the Chinese way of life, language, and culture while at the same time enjoying the fruits of such change. Being human entails accommodating other people’s differences given that one will also require theirs to be similarly accommodated (Khuc & Vuong, 2020).
In conclusion, while the question what does it mean to be human may appear paradoxical, it is not. On the contrary, it is a sound question that invites one to examine the essence of their being. Being human should be ultimately good despite the fact that people come from different geographical expanses, are dynamic and will always adapt to their environments as they strive to live and thrive.
Khuc, Q. & Vuong, Q. (2020). Environmental cultural value and global environmental change: By nature, of nature, for nature. Retrieved from https://osf.io/xzsjg
Ryan, A. (2019). What Does it Mean to Be Human? Who Has the Last Word: Sociologists, Biologists, or Philosophers?. In Social Science at the Crossroads (pp. 27-38). Brill.
Sardone, N. (2019). Gaming Human Rights Education. In European Conference on Games Based Learning (pp. 596-604). Academic Conferences International Limited.