“Animals and children tell the truth, they never lie. Which is more human?.. There’s a thought, now you decide.”
13 years ago, on a Thai airways flight from Dubai to Bangkok, I would’ve probably heard this song over 10 times as the playlist in my seat radio kept going. Used to the facilities on Emirates with a screen in every seat, I was found that flight rather boring. But that is the topic for another post.
What is interesting is that line above has stuck with me ever since.
The song talks about breaking free from the burdens of human life. But that line kind of asks the question, what does it mean to be human?
So what is it about us humans that defines us? What is humanity?
Is it our variety of emotions?…. I don’t think so.
Those with pets often refer to them in form of people or like children, I know, I do it constantly. The only response I get is to have everyone look back at me with a puzzled look. “But they’re animals, what do you expect from them?”
My answer to that is I’ve seen more animals who have more expressive and emotion filled faces than actors in a soap opera; from happiness to anger to even jealousy. And they act on their emotions rather than hiding them. And I’ve seen more people act like animals.
Is it our ability to communicate with speech?… No.
Research proves that Dolphins and Whales communicate with sounds and songs effectively. We just can’t translate the words. 😛
Some call humanity something that enables us to show compassion. Is it that?.. No.
Animals in wild, without any human influence, have been recorded to show some extreme amounts of compassion in certain situations.
To be honest I have do not have a definitive answer yet. A Google search brought this line to me.
“The ability to reason, to understand and reproduce compassion. In addition, a human being is someone in some way can contribute positively to the planet no matter what their station or condition is.”
I like that definition. It gives us a purpose, a responsibility as the dominant species on this planet use our position for good; no matter what.
The Institute for Christian Research has this article here. Its an interesting read.
What comes across to me from everything that I’ve seen so far is one factor that is constantly repeated over and over again. – “The Ability To Reason.”
The very fact that I can sit here and ask the questions that I have in this article is certainly what makes me human.