Being Human

We are all familiar with the saying, ”I’m only human”, the casual statement that indicates anyone has the capability to have a moment of weakness and to make a mistake, and not to be judged or deemed unworthy, just because of that ‘one small mistake’. While it is indeed true that we all deserve a second chance, what we tend to overlook is that this statement implies ‘being human’ as being weak.

What does it mean to be a human? There are, of course, a lot of answers to this question, depending on one’s perspective of humanity. As human beings, we all have limitations. After all, no one is flawless. However, on this piece of my mind expressed through writing, I want to take it a step further, to really understand what humans are capable of doing.

Humans are like double edged swords. They can be both sides of extreme, good and evil. Human race is one of the most (if not the most) dangerous predators in the history of existence. We surely can find more than enough examples of this. From historical events that took millions of lives such as World War I and II, genocide, ethnic cleansing, nuclear bombing; to everyday crimes such as serial murder, rape, human trafficking, you name it, we have it. The destruction one person can bring to millions of lives is overwhelming, especially combined with great powers in the wrong hands. More often than it should be, one very powerful leader can bring devastation to the entire society.

Ever since the very harsh lesson we learned from the two world wars, human race is trying hard to develop into a more civilized world. However, what does it mean to be ‘civil’ when there are still wars going on? The amount of lives fallen in Syria, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, just to mention some, is just simply mind blowing. Haven’t we learned anything from the past two world wars? Do we have to wait until there is no more life left in the world to finally stop the violence?

The emergence of humanitarian societies and organizations sure spark up hope in humanity. As I have mentioned before, regardless of all the dark side of human race, there are still many good, righteous people exist in the world. As humans, we often forget that, united, we can bring change to the world. One simple act of kindness goes a long way, whether it is to lend a hand for those in need, volunteering for a good cause, raising money for the disadvantaged, the list goes on. These people that are often not named, are the true heroes who, hopefully, inspire more people to do the same. History is written today, and every day. Compilations of small, good deeds will bloom into positive actions, and positive actions have the tendency to be contagious. Heroes will create more heroes, and villains will create more villains; the future is up to us to make.

Which kind of human do you want to be today?

Written by: Sienny Thio, a Master’s degree student in Global Studies and Communication studies, with a background in Human Behaviour and Sociology. An active volunteer in various NGOs, involving e-journalism and social campaign.

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