Just Human – #1000Speak

earth

We’re all just Human.

I like to say that sentence. It has a lot of meaning. We’re all just human. I’ve had a handful of posts where this phrase was implied throughout. Usually I had the more positive meanings in mind.

I think the first meaning I usually talk about is our similarities. There is no such thing as race; it is a social and cultural construct. If space aliens came down, they’d talk about the dominant species of the planet coming in a variety of colors, but for the most part all being very similar. They would not speak of race, because race doesn’t exist, because we’re all just humans.

I’ve also implied that phrase when I’ve talked about people in different social positions. From the top scientist and politicians, the CEOs of the largest corporations down to the poorest of the poor, the least educated and the least powerful, we are the same. We have the same emotions, the same basic dreams. If those space aliens took samples of people from the top of the social pyramid and the bottom, they’d find only minuscule differences. Genetically we are very, very similar. We are all just humans.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

The phrase “just human” implies imperfection. It implies there is something wrong. And that is true. There are people who seem too perfect to be real – they are good looking, intelligent, educated, very athletic, in high social standing, great job, belong to the right organizations, etc. But they are no more perfect than you or I. They all have faults. No, I said that wrong. I should have said, “We all have faults”. And we really do, because we are just human.

Part of life is trying to discover your weak areas and your problems. Part of life is discovering your limitations. I will never run a 5 minute mile. I will never climb Everest. I will never be known as a great scholar. I will never be a political leader of any type. I will never discover the cure for any disease. I will never be a movie star. I will never explore another world, except in my imagination. And thinking of imagination, I’ll admit that I’ve had fantasies about achieving every one of those things I said I will never do. It is not sad to admit, it is facing my limitations.

We must accept ourselves for who we are. That does not mean we need to give up. It means we need to be realistic. I can dream. I can press to achieve my dreams. I can work on improving my weaknesses. I can push myself to my boundaries and perhaps stretch those boundaries. I can and will improve. But it is impossible to improve if you don’t know the existing limitation, impossible to push that boundary if you don’t know the current one. And part of life is just that pushing against the edge, of trying to go a step or two farther, a breath faster, breaking that boundary, while always remembering that there are boundaries; limitations.

Know thyself and to thyself be true. *

But we need to go farther. We don’t just need to accept our own limitations, we need to accept those of others. If we accept we are imperfect we must accept that others are too. We must see that some people will struggle with what we think is easy. We must understand that some just can’t do what we want, or be who we want, or act the way we want. For all of the similarities I talked about above, we are all different. We are all unique.

And we have to remember that not only can we do something those others have problems with, they all can do something better than we can. Every one of those billions of people has some talent that we either lack or they have more of it than we do. There is something that that high school dropout can do that the Nobel Prize winning physicist can’t.

We must accept those around us with what we perceive as faults. We must accept the fact that that “loser” can do something better than we can. We must accept our limitations, and those of others. We must, for you know what? We are all just human.

This post is part of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion.  I’ve had a personal vision of compassion that I’ve been sharing on most of my posts on the subject:

Empathy is the glue that holds society together and compassion is what makes a group of people a civilization. Without holding our hands out to our fellow humans we become savages. We are all in this together, in a closed system, so we must all help each other. How lonely life must be for those selfish people who don’t realize this simple truth! How lonely for anyone who doesn’t realize that all are our brothers and sisters! How lonely must the self-righteous be!

Find out more about this movement.  See the 1000 Voices Speak blogsite and the Facebook page.  And add your voice to our 1000 voices all speaking about compassion!  To see more for this month or add your post, see the “Linky

100voiceslogo

* Part of “to thyself be true”, I must add – #BeReal – Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and to show your real beauty.

Josie-n-me

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8 thoughts on “Just Human – #1000Speak

  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 7/25/15 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. prior

    Hey T – tried to leave a message earlier – but it evaporated. ha! anyhow, enjoyed this thoughtful post – and actually enjoyed catching up on a few of your posts. The Munster’s piece was lively and well – hoping you are having a nice summer so far – seems like you are – be back later to check in but wanted to say hello. <3 ttyl

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hi Y. How have you been? The summer is pretty good so far, and yours? I’m hoping I haven’t “seen” you much because you’ve been out having a great time. Sometimes WP seems to lose people’s comments – I’ll go back and see if I can find it. Thanks re: this post and the Munsters theme. Talk to you soon.

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  3. Louise

    I enjoyed following this train of thought – so thanks! Loved the bit re: how aliens would view race. Indeed. Re: having fantasies about being a movie star or an athlete – I’ve never really thought NOT being that was about facing limitations – rather I thought the imagining was the fun and pretty much the end in itself. Ie: I’ve also imagined I was a princess and a vampire – the movie star and athlete (after a certain stage of life at least) were equally fictional in my mind. Maybe I was a realist from a really young age?

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hi Louise. Yes, in many ways those things are just flights of imagination and daydreams. But then, I run and try to push my speed, yet I know however much I push I’ll never reach a 5 minute mile and the six minute mile might just be a thing of my past. As a kid I did want to be an astronaut, by the time i was in high school I knew it could never happen. So I know that these things can only ever be day dreams. But there are other almost as ludicrous things that i dream about that I might someday achieve. OK, perhaps I was stretching the point, but you got the idea of the post ;)

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  4. Kit Dunsmore

    Thank you for talking about limitations! I work hard to think positively. I want to cheer for the cheerleaders. When they say things like “you can be anything you want to be” or “you can change anything you don’t like about yourself” I think “what about the unchangeable limitations I have?” Our genetics are hard-wired. There are some things that just are and must be accepted — things about myself AND about others. And striving is much more effective if we keep our limitations in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The cheerleaders do have their place, but I think it would be depressing if they keep shouting “You can do it!” when you really can’t. Far worse for self image than just excepting that there are limitations. Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry I didn’t answer earlier – I just discovered it in the spam folder.

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